Yesterday in my village, big red poppies popped up on lamp posts along the pavements. Remembrance day- it is with mixed emotions I gaze at these reminders of bloodied battlefields and realise how lucky we are to live in a time of peace.
Every year on the 21st of September we celebrate the World Peace Day with yoga sessions across the country. The reason is simple, we experience that when we are at peace with ourselves then we can be at peace with others.
On a daily basis, we are at war, resisting others, resisting the status quo, even resisting ourselves due to the impression and misunderstanding that we are separate individuals, disconnected and alone.
Yoga is a method to find inner peace, through a series of actions such as body movement, visualisations, breathing techniques and physical and mental relaxation. We connect deeply with ourselves, our mind with our body, ourself with the other person, our spirit with God. We integrate our conflicting feelings and emotions, aligning ourselves with the flow of life.
Maybe for some of us it is easy to see the connection between feeling well and being kind, considerate and thoughtful. But it might be less easy to allow ourselves the permission to go ahead and spend time on ourselves, caring for this vehicle, our body and the instrument, the mind, in order that they may work in harmony and at full capacity.
Earlier this week I had the privilege of stepping inside the Palaces of Westminster to talk about yoga as a methodology to support the mental health of young people. At one of the meetings an elderly peer of Indian descent piped up quietly, “yoga saved my life – after my first heart attack, I started doing yoga at my GPs suggestion and I would suggest we offer it to everyone”
On Remembrance day in London this year, not only will there be poppies but there will also be a group of young people coming together to talk about yoga in education as the way of coming into equilibrium with themselves, each other and the world at large. I feel proud to be part of an organisation which is giving the voice to young people to explore their agency in their own wellness.