Yoga and Human Rights: stretching for human rights defenders

May 2, 2013

Sometimes my eyes fall on more esoteric contributions to the protection of human rights defenders. Let me share with you Mark Laham’s blog post for the Huffington Times of the 1st of May 2013 which calls for a “borderless” one-hour live online yoga class in honour of Nasrin Sotoudeh, the Iranian lawyer in jail, recipient of the Sakharov Award and Nominee  of the MEA 2012.  Mark got inspired – through AI – by what he read about Nasrin’s struggle and other brave human rights defenders around the world. “How does Nasrin’s story make you feel?” he asks, ” Me, I…I feel the need to do something that will create positive change for this woman and countless others like her.NASRIN_SOTOUDEH_PORTRAIT But do we have the power to change the actions of powerful authorities halfway across the globe? Some will say No. But I say differently. He learned learned that human rights activists look for smart partnerships to reach people and motivate them to use their voices for change. T Today, millions of people are in yoga classes. “As a long-time yoga teacher, here is where I see the connections. On the surface, the modern yoga and human rights movements evolved with vastly different goals in mind. But they can work powerfully, beautifully together. In Sanskrit yoga means “to join,” “to unite.” When we practice together, we breathe and move as one. The same wonderful thing happens when many individuals come together to speak with one voice for human rights. Both movements are about the healing, changing power of human energy. They both move humanity to remove our shackles and prejudices. They move us towards universal consciousness and teach us the value of serving others. “Recognizing the potential impact of linking these movements — and in the spirit of global unity — Amnesty International and I are hosting a “borderless” one-hour live online yoga class in honour of the very courageous Nasrin Sotoudeh.Im asking you to join me. Join me in stretching yourself for human rights — and for Nasrin Sotoudeh.”

via Mark Laham: Yoga and Human Rights: Exercising Our Power for Change.


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