Of course, we all wish for peace in our own lives and for the entire world around us. In yoga, it is said that we cannot control the world around us, but rather we CAN control how we absorb what happens through our senses - through prati (food/thoughts) ahara (control/stop). Peace, love and happiness does not does not come from the outward stimulation - it comes from how we process and perceive things through our senses. The sutras also tell as that where our mind goes, so does our breath and vice versa. When you control and calm the breath through yoga, the mind will follow. When your mind is calm and steady, then you are better able to absorb appreciate and respond to what the world has to offer.
Swami Satchidananda tells the story of the the prisoner and the prison guard - both are in the same place, yet the prison guard feels free while the prisoner feels imprisoned - yet it is all in their minds! Through yoga and meditation anyone can achieve the feeling of peace and liberation. Perhaps if more people in the world practiced some form of yoga, they would feel peace on the inside and in turn become kinder and more patient with others. The world would certainly be a better place!
One of the most powerful and alluring elements of yoga is that it works on bringing the perceived self into unity and harmony with the true self that lies deep within all of us. While the main theme of yoga is to awaken the true self through connecting the mind, the body & the breath, yoga also offers direct and tangible benefits to everyone regardless of who you are and where you come from. Yoga presents not only the chance to connect to your true self, but a means of maintaining overall health, fitness and well-being in your body and your mind!
So, treat yourself in the New Year to a healthy body and peace of mind through the yoga experience! I hope to see you in class soon!