Last month I attended the Women’s March in Los Angeles. It was an amazing and historic multi-city event, the largest public protest in US History. I felt a deep sense of community with upward of a half a million strangers. There was an overriding feeling of LOVE among this immense group of women, men, and children from varying ethnic, racial, and economic backgrounds.
However, the Women’s March LA was not all candy and roses. It was impossible to get to because public transportation was saturated and the streets surrounding Pershing Square were impassible. I heard no speakers and did not get to march. Imagine street after public street packed with people standing shoulder to shoulder. At one point, for about an hour, I could not move at all. I never saw a police officer, and no one was directing pedestrian traffic.
Nevertheless, everyone was calm, patient, and unagitated. I thought, just one bad apple could start a stampeded, and people will most certainly be injured or worse. That did not happen. In fact, I read that not a single person was arrested. As we stood there paralyzed and uncertain of our next move, I calmly admired signs and talked to many strangers. In order for all this to happen, more than half a million people had to put community first. We had to let go of ME and embrace WE. “We the People,” together voicing support for one another.
The things that really moved me about the Women’s March transcended political affiliation or views on social issues. For me, the Women’s March was steeped in some of my favorite tenants of yoga philosophy. One is the Sanskrit word KULA, which can be translated as “community of the heart.” The other is the Sanskrit word AHIMSA meaning non-violence. The Women’s March was a Kula bathed in Ahimsa.
Of course, yoga philosophy is multilayered and subject to interpretation both subjectively and situationally. Sanskrit words also have multiple meanings. If you are interested in learning more about yoga philosophy, Sanskrit and/or becoming a yoga teacher, please join us for the next Harmony Yoga Teacher Training starting in April. More information can be found on the Harmony Yoga website or inquire at the front desk.
At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love. - Martin Luther King, Jr.