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Ambassadors for a Peaceful Community by Michelle Dawson

The planet does not need more 'successful' people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and size. It needs more people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world more habitable and humane. ~David Orr

We all are searching for something and this enigmatic quest often seems satiated when we find ourselves amongst like-minded people whose path inspires our innate mission. Consciousness, liberation and notions pertaining to the soul lead seekers to inquiries big enough that they find comfort in pursuing the answers together. In Sanskrit, the word that describes this sort of group association is ‘sangha’. Basically speaking, ‘sangha’ means community. It usually refers to the community of noble ones who attained some level of enlightenment but, for the sake of argument, we will declare this ancient term the perfect modern description for the aforementioned conscious camaraderie. Nowadays, this sort of group is forming in local yoga studios.

Many people assume that yoga is just about gaining flexibility in the body and developing a calmer mind. While these are two components, there is so much more to yoga than this. In one word, yoga is about union. Yogis unite in their search for a common good and for truth. Getting together to explore truth and possibilities for peace and liberation is called ‘satsang’ in Sanskrit. Many seek the natural intoxication that comes with spending quality time with friends whose aim is to be healthy and happy. Today, yoga studios are becoming a central place for building this sense of community. And why not?

Studios usually are spacious rooms with free time between classes—in other words, an ideal place to unite and connect individuals through music events, lectures, workshops, themed classes and more. Studios everywhere are getting really creative in their articulation of yoga.

The most beautiful aspect about this point is this: Practitioners of yoga know they can go anywhere in the world and seek refuge at a yoga studio because of its universally uniting principles. And while we may find ourselves resonating more specifically with one studio or one teacher, it still is very comforting to know that there are groups, or ‘sanghas’, everywhere and we never should feel alone on our journey.

So, seek out your local yoga studio and see what’s happening. You may find exactly what you've been looking for— you may find your community.

Michelle Dawson is the founder of the The Body Art Studio located at 55 Main Street in Chester. The Studio offers yoga classes and workshops, hosts henna events and private parties. For more information, call 662-5604 or visit BodyArtByMichelle.com.

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