Public Relations can be defined as “the management, through communication, of perceptions and strategic relationships between an organization and its internal and external stakeholders.” The key word being communication. Without the right communication, the sharing of words, thoughts and ideas, there can be no solid management of an organization and its members, both internal and external. The same principle applies with Yoga. As Yoga is the “Yoking” or “Union” of Body, Mind and Soul, this form of integrated health, philosophy and lifestyle needs to be communicated correctly, the information needs to be shared, but most importantly communicated truthfully and with love in order for the teachings of Yoga to be managed respectfully.
The fundamental teachings of Swami Sivananda of Sivananda Integral Yoga teaches the yoga aspirant to “Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realise.” Serving others, loving others, loving the work that we do selflessly, giving without expectation, giving with love is sharing and meditating in order to overcome attachments and negative thinking will enable us to “practice selfless service of humanity and cultivate cosmic love.”
How do we practice this? By sharing. How do we share? By communicating. Through the yoga community and enterprises such as Yoga Awakening Africa, we have a forum for Yoga teachers and Yoga students to communicate and share what is occurring daily, weekly and monthly in the community.
Perhaps as an aspiring teacher one may be hesitant to share with other studios or teachers for fear of competition or lack of enough members. However, it is exactly what the Yoga community needs to do to respect the spirit of Yoga which is to unite, to integrate and share the gift that is Yoga.
Communicating through newsletters keeps fellow yogis and yoginis informed about workshops, retreats, latest studio news, recipes and visits to our beautiful shores by renowned International teachers. Creating a network of communication for teachers to share their stories and news has truly brought the yoga community closer over the years. A wonderful example of this was highlighted through Email and the newsletter announcing the screening of “Love and the Art of Giving” a documentary on Swami Satyanada, a disciple of Swami Sivananda on the 7th February 2010.
The response was beautiful! I was part of an audience that filled the theatre to over capacity with eager viewers sitting on the floor in the aisles. The one hour film was not only educational but so inspiring! What inspired me more was seeing fellow teachers and new Yoga faces gathered together to share the experience. This was achieved through communication by fellow teachers.
The message of sharing and communicating the message of giving has extended from Ashrams in India to all parts of the world including the shores of Cape Town for teachers to communicate Yoga to HIV/AIDS suffering communities and prisons. Communicating through Yoga that there is joy in living, joy in giving, joy in sharing and joy in loving through Yoga – no matter what the circumstances.
Yoga is an integrated system and philosophy; it is a way of life. Part of Yoga educates us about the chakras or energy centres of the body. How appropriate that the 5th Chakra, the throat centre or Vishuddha Chakra focuses on truth and communication.
So as teachers and as students, let us unite together in Yoga, not just in asanas, but as the word itself expresses, to communicate this philosophy with truth, with conviction and with open arms to embrace each other and to share this marvelous gift that is Yoga!
Wishing you blessings of loving communication.
Featured in Yoga Awakening Africa March 2010 Newsletter & Yoganomics USA Website 2010.