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I had a meeting with a very nice, inquisitive and religiously conservative woman not too long ago. We met to talk about me teaching yoga classes for her church organization.

She had plenty of questions for me (which I welcomed) about what yoga is and is NOT. And how I could teach my classes in a way that wouldn’t offend the members of her church.

But then she asked me this one question. This question about “oneness” that, while I know this concept myself, I did a really bad job of explaining it accurately to her.

Coming from her Christian background, she couldn’t understand how yoga could teach that we are all one.  Obviously, to her at least, I was indeed a separate body from her body.

We don’t appear to be connected. So how could oneness be a real thing?

Yoga teaches us that energetically we are all one. But we express that energy in different physical forms. In other words, all of life, everything living is made up of energy or spirit.

This is no different than the breath of life that God breathed into Adam in the book of Genesis. It’s no different than the Holy Spirit that abides in a born again Christian.

Theoretically that’s good to know. If this is true, not only am I my brother’s (or sister’s) keeper, I AM my brother (or sister). At least energetically.

But so what?  I mean, knowing this is all worthless spiritual talk if we can’t apply it and make our lives better – right?

Good thing the trusty Yoga Sutras step in to give us some guidance on this as well.

“Drasta drsimatrah suddho pi pratyayanupasyah = The Seer is nothing but the power of seeing which, although pure, appears to see through the mind”

Ummm….but what does that mean for me and you as moms and our lives with crazy kids, husbands, soccer practice and breaking up sibling fights?

Here’s the bottom line.

Practicing oneness is synonymous with practicing COMPASSION. When we can look at the flaws of our husband, the mistakes of our children and the rude behavior of our neighbor and recognize that they are no different than us, then we can begin to let go of our own judgements.

We realize that while we may have “evolved” passed our partners petty behaviors, at some point in time we may have also behaved pettily.

We realize that while we are too grown to fist fight with our older brother, at some point in time we may have also thrown the first punch to get our way.

Siri Swami Satchidananda goes on to write “Through Yogic thinking we can see the entire humanity as our own. We can embrace all without any exceptions. We will never criticize a sinner if we realize that we were once in the same boat. Instead, we can give the so-called sinner a helping hand.”

So this week, perhaps as others do things that annoy you, remember who THEY are. They are your sisters, your brothers. They are YOU. And as yoginis we get to be the demonstrators of love, compassion and acceptance in the world we live in.

Have a compassion-filled week mamas,


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