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©2020 by Hana Raftery.

Los Altos, California.

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Disease of disconnection


When we are disconnected from ourselves, from each other, and from our environment, problems are bound to arise. When we are connected to ourselves, to each other, and to our environment, harmony will result. Let’s take a look:

When we are disconnected from ourselves and our needs, here is what can happen: poor diet choices, lack of sleep, not enough or too much exercise, too much or too little sleep, eating too much or too little, use or abuse of drugs or alcohol to avoid feeling our feelings, distracting ourselves with screens to avoid feeling our feelings, etc.

When we are disconnected from each other, here is what can happen: judgement, criticism, blame, gossip, hate, stereotypes, lack of empathy, withdrawal from or lashing out at our loved ones, fear of vulnerability, difficulty seeing another person’s perspective, inability to forgive, violence, etc.

When we are disconnected from our environment, here is what often happens: wasting/abusing resources (water, fuel, etc.), wasting/abusing food, taking more than we need, unconsciously consuming without considering what occurred during production and transportation of the product, denial about how personal choices impact the environment, etc.

I believe that yoga can heal us from these “symptoms of disconnection” because the purpose of yoga is to create connection. The word yoga means “union” and refers to the union between the individual self and the universal self. Yoga is not a thing – it is the state of consciousness where we are connected to the divine. Yogic philosophy teaches us that divinity is within ourselves and within all beings. On the path of yoga, we come to understand that divinity is everywhere and that everything is connected. I believe that yoga can heal us because when we are connected, we will no longer harm ourselves, harm each other, or harm our environment.

Here are some tangible steps for how we can use yoga and mindfulness off the mat to fuel connection:

Connection with yourself:

  • Take care of your body and mind with diet, exercise, and rest.

  • Be aware of when you are using drugs, alcohol, work, exercise, screens, etc. as a distraction to avoid or escape your feelings.

Connection with others:

  • Be mindful of when you are gossiping, passing judgments, or criticizing others.

  • Resist the urge to withdraw from or lash out at others; be vulnerable and real with your loved ones.

Connection with our environment:

  • Become a conscious consumer. Learn where your food, clothes, and other purchases come from and what was involved in the process of getting the product to you.

  • Buy only what you need.

Every mindful choice that we make creates a ripple of goodness that is healing for everyone around us. Thank you for your commitment to your practice and for making our world a better place <3

With love,

Hana