Community Service through Yoga and Meditation

Often in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day people strive to practice or participate in acts of service in their areas. On this day, we are encouraged to reach out to those in our communities and provide service or even just be more inclined to offer a random act of kindness to yourself or others. 

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My friend and fellow yoga instructor, Mary, was inspired to host an MLK Day yoga and meditation session, which was brilliant! I felt she facilitated a space for beginner black yoga practitioners to explore and experience yoga, beginning a deeper journey to the Self. On this Holiday and when anyone utters the Name Martin Luther King Jr. we remember his renowned "I Have a Dream" speech- a collection of prose that resounds in our ears and our hearts when the world is calling for change.  MLK and the start of the new year inspired the meditation and reflection; Mary used the significance of this day to offer the journal prompt:

" What would you change in your life and/or the world, why?"

 Many of the practitioners spoke from a place of necessity within their specific communities of interest, feeling that implementing change is the only solution to issues of exclusion, ignorance, and feeling voiceless. As students continued to share we learned that they shared intentions to implement change in their lives to better their and the  environment for those who like them, shared plans of hope and growth in the world around them. As sharing become more specific a recurring theme was 'voice'- stepping into it, creating, and honing the power of one's voice.  

How do you use your voice? Do you implement kindness, compassion, and discernment when you speak to yourself and others? 

With our meditation in mind, we began our practice. 

5 Tips to alleviate anxiety before your first yoga class

  1. Focus on your breath! - Without the breath, there is no yoga. Return to the breath when resistance arises.
  2. Practice Self Compassion -  Don't judge yourself for what initially seems difficult, but check-in and notice what you can learn from it.  
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3. You are the teacher, the instructor is a guide. - It's about how you feel not how you look, if something doesn't feel right YOU are in charge of making the decision to go towards your edge or pull it back. 

4. We don't Do yoga, we Practice yoga. - A practice is worked at overtime

5. Know that you aren't alone-  there is a whole community of people( especially me) rooting for you, who once stood in your shoes! 

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How do you define community service?

What act of service do you practice with yourself and others?

Felicia taliaferro