This interview is part of a series devoted to interviews with several health, yoga, and spiritual educators presenting at the second annual yoga service conference hosted by the Omega Institute and the Yoga Service Council June 7-9, 2013. Anyone interested in working to create strong, engaged, and resilient communities is welcome at the conference. Beryl Bender Birch is an internationally recognized teacher of meditation and yoga philosophy and author of Power Yoga, Beyond Power Yoga, Boomer Yoga, and, soon to be published, Finding Peace: A Yoga Guide for Veterans and Active Duty Military Service Men and Women. She happens also to be my yoga teacher, friend, and co-founder of The Give Back Yoga Foundation. How special it is for me to interview her in this space!
Rob: What changes occur during our asana, pranayama, or meditation practice that help us to get off our mats and “give back” to our communities the benefits we’ve received through the practice of yoga?
All “yoga” practices are about learning to pay attention. It doesn’t matter if you chant, do asana, breathe, meditate, study, or scrub floors. The training is the same: learn to pay attention. As we get stronger at focusing our attention, we become more conscious, more aware. Attention drives transformation!! As we become more aware, the veils of advidya (ignorance) begin to get fainter and fall away and we get closer to the true experience of yoga, which is the recognition of boundlessness. Once we look around and see the state of things and realize that we are not separate, but a part of it All, we really can’t help but “give back.” Continue reading >> HuffPost