Controversial

Yoga in the West Bank

What would you do, living in an unstable country, your daily routine marked by either lack of food and resources, lack of security, an ongoing conflict about control of land – or even all of the above?

These Palestinian women have turned their gaze inwards, towards the only stability they know they can rely on. They do yoga to connect to what lies deep within, to cope with the stress of their everyday existence.

Jaleela Khwaja practices yoga in her garden in the village of Ni’lin on the West Bank.

And, let’s be honest: Don’t we all say we do yoga (at least to a certain degree) to cope with stress? Now in light of these women, I wonder if my so-called stress really is stress.

The fantastic article (read on here) reminded me of a workshop I once took. The teacher said: “We all talk about stress. But really, we don’t experience stress. Most of us don’t even know what stress is. Not knowing what to eat the next day, that’s stress.”

Women of Zatara walk with their yoga mats to their class

Women of Zatara walk with their yoga mats to their class.

Let’s hope that these women find a moment of peace, a space no matter how tiny, where they can let down their guard and relax. Where they can just be, even if it’s just for the duration of a yoga class.

Have a wonderful, inspired rest of the weekend,

Andrea

 

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