Independence YAY!

What is freedom? Like success, I wonder if beyond the dictionary definition, it’s up to the beholder of how to define it. With recent events like Juneteenth, Pride and the 4th of July holidays, I’ve searched for how to define freedom.

Juneteenth - June 19 commemorates the day in 1865 when Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas. In 2021, it became the United States' newest federal holiday. Woohoo!

Pride definition of freedom is: Free to be - ME! Pride Month celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people—and the history, culture, and contributions of these people and their communities. Woohoo!

Independence Day, the Fourth (4th) of July is a public holiday in the United States of America that commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared the original colonies to be free from British rule. Woohoo!

My teenagers defined freedom as the ability to “do as you please and be responsible for yourself.” Woohoo!

What do I mean when I talk about feeling happy and free in yoga? It's related to a second dictionary definition of freedom: The condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance. Would this include your own mind? I think so. How often does our mindset bind us?

This is why over 55 million people practice yoga and 37% of yoga enthusiasts have children who also enjoy practicing. Yoga creates freedom in the body (range of motion), mind (openness) and heart (compassion) by creating more space. Our life experiences are stored in the body. Yoga burns through the layers to release tension and trauma. Simply put, it frees you. If nothing else, it makes you feel lighter. Lightness creates more joy and happiness. Woohoo!

When I talk to parents about what they want for their kids they say, “I want my kids to be happy.” This is closely followed by "healthy" and "successful" as the top three wishes. Yoga is a path to lightness to help you feel happy and free. Yoga is for all ages, abilities, identities and colors. Yoga is for YOU!

Photo credit: Andrea McTamaney

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