Teen Yoga Ambassadors

As climate strikes pepper the land, it strikes me how one little person from Sweden has inspired millions to speak up about what they are passionate about – Mother Earth.

I had the privilege of spending Monday evening with 8 hand-picked young yogis in London. They had all been through a selection process and were chosen for their passion and experience in yoga.

Inspired by Greta Thunberg and the influence she has had in the world, young people are gathering together to offer their solution to the worlds’ problems. These young people have all practised yoga for many years already. Two of them were on the autistic spectrum. They came to be trained to share yoga with their peers in the new programme run by the Teen Yoga Foundation.

Again and again we hear the cry from the young – we are experiencing a mental health crisis,  but what can we do about it?

These brave young souls will be marching forth into the arena of mental health, equipped with specific training to help others, multiplying the wellbeing effect in their school and other contexts.

In yoga we learn how to lift ourselves up, by controlling our minds, by lifting and opening our hearts, we learn how to be well on every level. Part of being well is recognising our interdependence with the planet and each other. Once we recognise this, we can only support others.

There is no separation between us – this profound truth is experienced in meditation, one young person at a time, finding their feet, finding their way, finding their wellness, lifting themselves and others up into light and hope.

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Sacred space

Gloomy cool holiday Saturday morning, I feel drawn to some Krishna Das as I practise on the mat. Soon I experience the increased space within the body, in the muscles, in the chest, around the heart, between the bones.   Then, lying in gratitude at the end of the practise, I feel space.. the body is spacious and also able to integrate into space, the space around it. The mind no longer tethered by the body or time also finds solace in the space and world beyond the body. This moment of recognition, realisation, that we are in fact completely one with the world around us, the earth that holds us firm and draws us close with its maternal gravity, gently, firmly downwards, inwards and the light that draws us up and out and towards greater hope and heights, and the fire in the centre, transforming, driving towards change. The gentle water running under the earth that sooths, changes, moves and draws us back to mother ocean.   We are the earth, the earth is us.  At the end we go back into the earth, my fathers’ ashes into the ocean, my grandparents’ bodies back to mother earth to be transformed.   I often find myself saying to my students, “just get them to savasana” – our restless minds need movement, they need stimulation and turning this way and that before they can rest to finally experience the peace of belonging, belonging to the earth, to space, to the fire and the rivers. Bring them to savasana, so they can experience true yoga – oneness, with everything, everything that is us, we who are everything – this planet is not environment, it is not around us, it is in us. Bring them to savasana and the planet will be saved in the embrace of Mother Earth

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