Independence Day


As our nation turns to backyards, barbecues, burgers, bright
colors and explosions in the sky, it seems appropriate to celebrate independence in a personal way as well. Perhaps with some yoga?

Independence. Freedom. Liberation. Moksha. Most cultures take time to
celebrate a form of letting go and feeling open and alive to
possibility, and it seems the height of summer is the perfect time for
this expression. Your pores are open and warmed by the sun, encouraging
your body to release, the days are long and, in most places, the
weather is inviting.

What do we, in this modern day, need to do to disentangle ourselves
from our oppressors? 

What are our oppressions anyway, and why do we feel tangled in the
first place? Yoga can help answer all of the above.

I woke up with Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" in my head:

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds."

This will be my mantra in practice this weekend. Any obstacle I perceive has been
placed there by me, and I can also choose to remove it. My morning yoga
practice, of course, will be my revolution.

Today I celebrate independence from the mind stuff, vritti.

I will not allow myself to be worried about the extra traffic caused
on a Friday before a holiday weekend...or the longer lines at the
grocery store, or the wait at the bank or how crowded it will be at the
park and the beach. These things are fun and they are choices.

I will
enjoy my liberation with breath, movement, and maybe a little reggae.

How will you liberate yourself this weekend?

Check out the accidental yogist if you're in SoCal and looking for studios that are celebrating their independence.

Erin Chalfant is a
writer, yoga teacher and the Web Editor at Yoga Journal.