Last Friday was Independence Day, our country’s birthday. A day to celebrate being American with our family and friends. We commemorate our country’s struggle for freedom from British rule. Our quest for freedom broadened into the Bill of Rights: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of press, the freedom to choose. Americans are not unified because we share the same religion, heritage, or skin color. In the Untired States, we are brought together by our common belief in fundamental freedoms. This is what makes us unique, and this is what we rejoice in on the 4th of July.
“Freedom” is a powerful word, and it comes in many forms. In our yoga practice, we are also seeking freedom in a myriad of different and personal ways. We look for freedom in our physical bodies and freedom from pain, freedom from the constraints and chatter of the mind, freedom to let go of things we can’t control, and freedom from fear, sorrow, and ego. In yoga, the road to freedom comes through practice, meditation, and patience, and it is paved with self-awareness and self-discovery.
No matter how hard a yoga pose may be for you, always ask, “Where can I find freedom in this pose?” Perhaps it starts with simply softening the eyes or finding peace with momentary discomfort. In the spirit of our country and in honor of Independence Day, keep striving for your own brand of freedom, and remember Lao Tzu’s words…“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”