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Yoga can cultivate world peace

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September is National Yoga Month. The development of yoga, which began in India, can be traced back over 5,000 years ago, but some researchers think that the practice of yoga may be up to 10,000 years old. Yoga brings the mind, body, and spirit together through exercise, breathing, and mediation. Yoga is a practice, not a religion, and will not interfere with any personal religious beliefs. It has no creed or fixed set of beliefs, nor is there a prescribed godlike figure to be worshipped in a particular manner.

Yoga is all about clarity, balance, joy, self-awareness, and inner peace. And there are many health benefits to the regular practice of yoga which include weight loss, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improved blood circulation, nervous system and digestion, stress reduction, enhanced brain function, greater flexibility, strong bones, and many more.

"World peace can be complicated. Practicing world peace though, can be simple." Megan McDonough

So what does yoga have to do with world peace? War, conflict, anger, hate, fear, all begin first in the mind. Yoga involves mindfulness, focused intent, and disciplined attention to the present moment. Yoga is the power of right now; not of past or future suffering or regret. Before we can bring peace to the world, we must first experience peace in ourselves, individually. The regular practice of yoga brings inner peace. And inner peace brings outer peace, which can cultivate the ripple effect of world peace. It is a personal choice, a shifting of awareness; one body, one thought, one mind at a time.

So if you want to find your own inner peace and help facilitate peace throughout the world, check out some of the yoga studios here in our community, during National Yoga Month. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.

As Heather Lindsay of Maryville's Yoga Room says, "breathe in, laugh out, love life, do yoga."

For more information about yoga, check out the September issue of Natural Awakenings and their article on the Titans of Yoga. And if you're interested in world peace, check out The Peace Alliance.




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