I was recently introduced to the idea of the Beloved Community in the book, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippet. The author writes, "John Lewis asked a 'what if' question as a tool for social alchemy: what if the beloved community were already a reality, the true reality, and he simply had to embody it until everyone else could see?" John Lewis was a warrior for peace and justice alongside Dr. Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement. The King Center website states, “The Beloved Community was for [Dr. King] a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence.”
The first ethical principle in yoga according to Patanjali’s eightfold path is ahimsa, or nonviolence. It has always been the fundamental yoga teaching and becomes the guiding light in our ever-evolving practice. What if by practicing nonviolence during yoga, we become more compassionate? What if by cultivating nonviolence on the mat, we become more accepting? What if by observing nonviolence in our practice we embody that all-inclusive spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood that Dr. King spoke of? What if our yoga community is also our Beloved Community?