“Yoga: The Light Within”
By Julian Lee
Upon taking on the role of marketing and development assistant at APADRC, I was overjoyed to find that I had stepped into a warm community of peacemakers. Being in an office environment where people take pride and ownership of their responsibilities as a professional and as an individual with similar life goals has been an amazing experience , and I thought things could not get any better.
But it did get better. Here I am, in an office yoga session, on a swirl-patterned yoga mat in between two of my supervisors and following yoga poses led by Dustin, one of our mediator specialists who has been practicing yoga throughout his life. All the stress and negative energy that had been stored away in my body and mind began to evaporate after every pose. We got to watch each other carry out different yoga poses (some of these poses are challenging!) and bonded over laughs and encouragement. In the final exercise, where we lay still and focused on our breathing, I felt completely relaxed and at peace.
And I realized how much yoga can positively influence APADRC and any other community. When I thought of yoga, I initially thought of yoga poses on a mat that I probably wouldn’t ever be able to do (or do gracefully, at least), especially in an office environment. However, I found that yoga can be as simple as exercising for 7 minutes sitting on a chair.
At the end of our office yoga session, we closed by saying “Namaste,” an expression that means, “the light in me honors the light in you and in the world.” I further thought this meaning out in the context of APADRC and became even more thankful to be a part of an organization that helps others resolve conflicts and overcome barriers such as language, culture, and income. Our peer mediator trainings in schools and conflict resolution services for the community strive to honor the light in other people. For we believe the light within oneself shines the brightest when one is at peace.