Beyond the individual: Yoga as a community healing practice for social transformation

By Allie Middleton

Even if it’s your first time, yoga or other mind-body practices can shift how you feel, maybe even helping you tap into your creativity! In addition, engaging in these practices may inspire you to experiment and innovate in communities, groups, or organizations you care about. 

Photo by David Clode

Plenty of opportunities for community healing and social action projects are indeed happening in the yoga world. It’s a natural fit, as the word yoga is often translated as “union,” and yogic practices naturally lead us to experience increased connections within ourselves, with others, and with the world around us. Yoga can be successfully adapted for healing and change in large systems, just as it works in the bodies of individual practitioners.

Examples of change-making yoga-based projects we discussed during a recent International Association of Yoga Therapists conference:

These innovative projects demonstrate how personal transformation through yoga practice can lay the groundwork for community healing initiatives.

As yoga therapy evolves as a professional discipline, we are collecting and sharing experiences and research on how yoga-based practices can assist in personal health challenges. It’s also becoming clear that communities and care systems benefit from integrating yoga into existing healthcare practices. We might think of this development as moving from me to we—toward union.  

#movingyogafromMEtoWE, #yogahealscommunities, #sociallyactiveyoga

Allie Middleton is a passionate healer who maintains a private yoga therapy and body-centered consulting practice. She brings change-making skills and successful innovation strategies to diverse health and business teams to enhance well-being through yoga-based practices.