As I watch an update about the Amazon fires in Brazil, the number of trees lost and species extinct or at risk, and the millions of tons of CO2 going into the atmosphere, I roll out my yoga mat and surrender into a deep forward bend. The fires peaked in August, but they are still happening. These fires are primarily due to farmers and loggers clearing the land for animal agriculture so people can eat meat. I can get so upset. Connect to the breath, hold the forward bend. More deeply surrender.
I started meditating before I started the physical practice part of yoga. It was hard. I had many stories and arguments about why I couldn’t meditate. You may have them too, my mind is too busy, I can’t sit still, I have too much to do, I must be doing it wrong, I can’t tell if this even works! I tell my meditation students, it was war. And, at the time it was.
In Yoga, we have warrior poses, and we call the life of a Yogi the warrior path. My friend and business partner Mollie (owner of Yoga Hive Montana) chose veganism a little over a year ago. She is currently in a small town in Wisconsin with her family. She shared with me this week that it’s hard to be the trailblazer. No one gets it.
We have to fight the war in order to find peace.
Change is hard and, in our attempts, we fight the inside battles as we hear the inside voices and experience the fluctuations of the mind.
But the first step to change is to STOP.
No action, just be. Turn off the news, put away your phone, remove yourself from others, find the silence inside you, listen and FEEL. All those squirmy feelings? Feel them. The only way change is going to work is if it comes from the kindling burning inside you. Action fans the flames but doing nothing holds the steady burn. The burn that makes the change part of you. Not something outside of you to achieve, but part of who you are.
For our January 40-day challenge, we include meditation. Partially because some people want to start a meditation practice, but mostly because it supports your life, your inner flame and your connection to yourself.
For my frustration with the devastation in the Amazon, and the impact of our choices to the planet and our health, feeling hopeless or mad doesn’t do anyone any good, especially me. The yogic path has been paved with timeless practices that soothe and empower the spirit.
I go back to my mat.
Blaine Wilkes is the owner of Yoga Hive Colorado, and writes inspirational musings for our newsletter, which we post here, along with upcoming trainings and workshops. To filter, navigate using the links above to see the category you're interested in. If you have questions, or wish to get in touch with Blaine, drop in to a class, or connect online: