Surviving Economic Problems with Yoga

Recession, unemployment, welfare, rise in food and fuel prices, wage freeze, despair, fear of not having enough, bankruptcy, worry, stress, fear...Any ideas where I might be going with this?

Obviously, if you are someone with plenty of cash reserves in the bank, a comfortable job, multiple properties, cars and all the rest of it, then the so-called global economic crisis does not pertain to you. You are happy knowing and trusting all the bills will get paid, food will be on the table and there will be Christmas presents a plenty under the tree this year. Oh, what a joy! This is a truly wonderful picture to paint, and in my idealistic mind, something EVERYONE deserves. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the reality for everyone, not even close. In fact, I believe statistics would show us that an uncomfortably large number of people around the globe really don’t have enough. And we’re not talking about toys, cars, computers and fancy clothes. We’re talking about the basics; water, food and shelter.

As we approach 2012 (the year of supposed transformative change), upon some deeper reflection, is this really the kind of world we want to live in? Can we, as a collective, make a few changes that could potentially have a profoundly positive impact on the world? And I am not talking about a big concert to raise some awareness or a charity fundraiser that involves an expensive dinner and champagne. What I am talking about involves change on an individual level; where we all become more conscious, compassionate human beings. People may accuse me of being terribly optimistic…but I don’t care. I choose to think the best of humanity and I believe whole-heartedly that we can realize what needs to be done in order to improve EVERYONES life (toys, cars and presents included!)

Yoga offers us an eight-fold path to follow and practice. The first of the eight limbs comprises of 5 Yamas or moral characteristics to live by. They are:

  1. Ahimsa – Compassion for all living things or non-violence
  2. Satya – Being honest and truthful
  3. Asteya – Not stealing
  4. Brahmacharya – Merging with the One or using sexual energy wisely
  5. Aparigraha – Non-grasping or hoarding

I am not advocating we give up all our worldly possessions and become saints (though I do believe the world would be pretty amazing if this happened!!), but I do believe that if every single one of us took the time to practice even one of these Yamas we’d be well on our way to a better world! Go on, give it a try…you may be surprised how good it feels to be kind. Just a little effort from all of us could transform our world and abolish the ‘economic meltdown’ for good.

To a happy and prosperous New Year for EVERYONE!

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