Embracing Diversity

We are all one is a spiritual truth we are told as yogis, but to see the end of inequality in society we need to embrace what makes us different.

We live in a world where billions of people exist together and have the advantage of technology to be connected and learn anything they want by the click of a button. The diversity of religion, race, gender, culture are things that are bound to be different from person to person. Now is the time to embrace this diversity.

Rather than embrace, it seems that many people in the world see diversity as a reason to divide. This is not a political statement; it is simply recognition that we need and can do better. We don’t have to focus on nations far from us (and there are plenty of negative examples!) rather, we should start within our own community. We need to recognise that each of us is unique and amazing, and the collective human experience is richer for the difference we bring.

So how do we get there?

1. The first thing to remember is that no one is born more important than the rest. Sure, one may be born into better circumstances. They may have more money or more friends than you, but that doesn’t make the said person more important.

2. Be the change: If we truly want to experience our underlying divine oneness, then we cannot just tune out those who have differing opinions. The alternative is that we remain in a room of like-minded people where only our own views are coming back to us. It does us no good to believe we all think the same way, only to wake up too late and discover that wasn’t the case at all.

3. Listen with a calm mind with a view to understanding. All too frequently we listen to reply as opposed to genuinely listening to develop an understanding of someone else’s point of view. It is only after developing that understanding that we should respond. One more thought on this; we have two ears and one mouth; they should be used in that proportion.

4. Work on ourselves. We should embrace our differences in human form, and see the similarities that lay beneath. We should see our self in that person, and that requires truly knowing ourselves; it requires pursuit of our spiritual journey.

5. Include and encourage everyone to come to the mat. So many peoples lives have been changed from stepping on their mat and finding their own true heart. Yoga makes us well both physically and emotionally. It makes us more aware of the world around us and more compassionate and accepting of others.

On the Mat – this month at Inspire
At Inspire we celebrate the diversity of our teachers and classes we offer. Further, we aspire to be accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds and skill levels. Our aim is to build community and we truly value the concept of family.

So this month, why not get outside your comfort zone: come early, have a cup of tea and talk to a stranger; attend different classes and meet new people; see different teachers and learn new things about yourself; work with someone you don’t know when you are practicing new skills or even drag someone from work and introduce them to the joys of yoga.

Finally, get to know more about your teachers, their culture and how they fell in love with yoga. Believe me they all have different stories and are following their own path. They are all different, they are unique and we are proud to call them family.

See you on the mat!

Elisa and John

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