Now everyone loves their inspiring yoga teacher, but there are also the big name yoga stars who inspire us to go deeper and try harder to improve ourselves and practice. These people are the ones who embody yoga without ever striking a pose. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the many incredible individuals.
Let’s takes moment today and reflect on some of this inspirational man’s yoga qualities and let it inspire us to elevate ourselves to be even better than we ever dreamed possible with his example. After all, B.K.S. Iyengar said it best “It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.”
1. Fearlessness (Abhayam)
Clearly it was difficult to stand up to millions of people and proclaim his dream. Have courage and faith in yourself and make it clear that what you want to see in the world will come to pass, and nothing anyone thinks or says can change your conviction.
2. Patience or Fortitude (Dhriti)
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a dream. It took more than one speech to put an end to segregation in the United States. More than one march or one demonstration, more than one sit-in. It was continuous effort that made his dream come alive. Martin Luther King, Jr. was forced to practice patience all this time to truly see his goals. Things don’t change overnight and and he knew it. Be patient with your dreams and let them grow step by step, day by day. You will realize your goals. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
3. Radiance of Character (Tejas)
Those who followed Martin Luther King, Jr. believed in him 100%. That kind of trust did not come just from his words alone, but the harmony between word and action. He lived what he preached. To have a True Radiance of Character, one must be true to themselves, they must be trustworthy, honest, open and most importantly pour their inner compassion out to the world.
4. Non-Violence (Ahimsa)
Few others in our history have practiced this yoga quality to the extent he had. He layed out beautiful guidelines and concepts to bring true non-violence into our everyday lives. He showed by example how one can truly triumph through non-violent action, and by doing so, had changed his community, his country, and his world.
5. Self Discipline (Tapas)
Self Discipline is the ability to control your words and actions in a way that serves you and those around you to elevate everybody you cross paths with. Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly showed his true strength, taking the high road and putting himself out there to be an example for others. He did what he needed to do because he was living in his truth and to not live his truth would be impossible. It’s controlling your frustration when someone speaks to you harshly. It’s controlling your tone when someone frustrates you, and I believe in our time, nobody could set a higher example of this incredible quality than Martin Luther King, Jr. As he said best, “The time is always right to do what is right”
So there you have it. He may have not taught at any popular yoga festivals, or created his own style of yoga, but he was truly one of the greatest yogi’s this country has and will ever produce. Namaste.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” -Martin Luther King, Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.