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An Insurgency of Peace- How Yoga & Meditation Teachers Are Unknowingly Training An Army

An insurgency has begun...

The day after the election, I went to a morning yoga class, hoping to decompress and work through some of my anxiety about the fate of humanity. Our sequence contained three standing poses: "Warrior I," "Warrior II," and "Warrior III." The sequence repeated. "Warrior I," "Warrior II," "Warrior III." Again...again. "Warrior I," "Warrior II," and "Warrior III." At one point I thought to myself, "this feels like bootcamp." And then I realized: it is bootcamp... ---------- According to a recent survey, the practice of yoga in the US has nearly doubled in the past four years from 20 million people to nearly 37 million. Mindfulness and meditation are also increasing in popularity, with sports teams, schools, healthcare organizations and corporations now incorporating mindfulness and yoga into their structure. From within the military-industrial-complex, an insurgency has begun.

Every day more and more of us are training. Training our minds, training our bodies, training our hearts. Perhaps our teachers don't realize it, but they're building the foundation of a new way of being. They're training an Army for Peace.

Our service looks different than that of a traditional army. We serve our people every day by:

  • choosing to be present and non-reactive

  • releasing our expectations and attachments

  • having compassion and empathy for others

  • healthily processing and understanding our emotions

  • being aware, intentional and skillful in our thoughts, words and deeds

  • caring for the entirety of our bodies

The frontlines of our battles exist in every moment, with a victory won with every choice of love over fear, of peace over violence. And someday soon, our numbers will increase to the point that we will arrive at a tipping point. Our international, ageless, genderless, self-sufficient and endlessly renewable army will come face to face with the Army of War, and the agents of war will look us in the eyes and see their mothers, their brothers, their grandfathers and their lovers. They will see themselves. Outnumbered and overwhelmed by the power of our love, they will lay down their arms and join our tribe. And together, we will build a world of peace.

----------- May our trainings this week be fueled by the remembrance that we are in fact warriors in the Army of Peace. May we take our training as seriously as those who train in violence, so that we might meet violence with the fiercest love and compassion. Thank you to the yoginis, the spiritual leaders and mindfulness teachers on this list. Whether you know it or not, you are changing the world.

Your friend,

Ben Caron

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