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MLK Day – Non-Violence & Yoga


MLK Day – Non-Violence & Yoga



Love is gravity, the primordial force of bonding that drives the ongoing  creation of the universe.

Our liberation is bound together by natural and spiritual truths.

Today, on the day acknowledged as a national holiday celebrating the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the world is imploding with violence.

The unhealed collective trauma of peoples inevitably erupts into violence. The scale of that violence and the suffering it brings is unfathomable to most of us who have slept comfortably in warm beds, have plentiful food and navigate without fear for our lives going about our daily tasks.

Have we ever really tried as a human family to heal the broken shards of trauma?

When the African American theologian Howard Thurman met with Gandhi in India, he asked him about Ahimsa,  the first of the five ethical precepts that make up the first of eight limbs of yoga.

If you are reading this, you may guess that Thurman was not referring to self care on a yoga mat.  Gandhi informed Thurman that Ahimsa (non harming or non-violence) was not merely the absence of harm, but the presence of a cosmic love AND a rooting out of the causes of harm.

In Yoga, relationship is centered. With Self/God of our understanding/with other Beings/The Planet.

Jesus centered relationship as well.

Violence can never create, restore or strengthen relationship.

It is so easy to dehumanize people.  A book I highly recommend is See No Stranger.  Valarie Kaur, A Sikh American woman and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project has dedicated her life to healing through practices of fierce compassion and love  around racial intolerance, hatred and violence, particularly towards immigrants and Sikhs. When she confronts ignorance, her reflection-You are part of me that I do not know witnesses the humanity of the other that is “othering” her.



These are questions I lean into and I encourage you, not only on this day, but everyday, to not bypass the real challenges of these times but apply radical imagination for the world that is possible for all of us.




Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.