What could the world be like if no one had to suffer the long-term emotional and mental consequences of violence and war? If people had a way to shield themselves from the anguish, terror and loss that results from war, would they eventually have the ability to prevent the next war from ever beginning?
The Peace Project, born from The Heart of Yoga Foundation, is all about trying to do just that. Founded after a heartfelt conversation between two yoga instructors, one from Tel Aviv and one from Lebanon, The Peace Project is on a mission to use the healing and restorative power of yoga to bring peace and hope to people living in areas torn apart by conflict and war.
Because yoga helps people remain grounded and steady, it can be extremely beneficial to people who live in areas of the world torn apart by violence and conflict. The Peace Project ventures into these devastated communities and teaches people yoga and meditation to empower them to rise above the conflict and remain grounded and in control of their serenity and sanity.
The yoga instructors involved in this transformational program teach people living in these terrible circumstances how to find their inner beauty and natural ways to heal themselves from the scars of their surroundings.
In addition to leaning basic yoga poses, participants also learn breathing techniques that prepare and strengthen the body and meditation techniques and mental exercises to train the mind to focus and relax. Breathing and meditative training are a natural part of yoga, but in these circumstances they provide the additional benefits of teaching a coping mechanism to the students living in the chaos of their lives.
Other benefits come from yoga concepts as well, including increased patience and determination, the ability to be non-reactive when facing conflict and the ability to begin to see past cultural superficial differences.
Students learn haw to communicate in a non-violent way and to carry on dialog regardless of cultural differences. These life tools are important for everyone to learn, but they are critical when living in the horrors of a war zone.
It’s amazing when you consider that a practice many people think of as simply stretching can have such profound effects on people’s lives. It serves as evidence, however, that one can use the principles of yoga in whatever level they choose. If you want to use it simply as a means of toning your body, it works wonders for lengthening and strengthening your muscles. If you’re looking for a tool to help you rise above the stress and chaos of everyday life, it is an excellent method of meditation and relaxation. If you are looking for a method of survival in the midst of sheer terror and insanity, well, yoga just might be the answer for that as well. What ever your reasons, it seems clear that adding yoga to your lifestyle can reap untold benefits.
What benefits does yoga bring to your life? Drop a comment and let me know!