Several years back one of my yoga teachers made the point in class that all beings have the same amount of potential for love and divinity. It really resonated me at the time, and I try to remember this idea as often as possible – that we are all created in one image with one purpose – and that purpose is to find and connect with our own divine potential, the God residing in each and every one of us. It’s what we do with this potential for love, how much we offer back into the world, that leads us to transforming ourselves from earth-bound beings to spiritual beings.
When my preferences and aversions towards or against one being over another begin to flair, I bring myself to the sweet, beautiful mantra: Lokah samastah, sukinoh bhavantu. This translates roughly to: In this realm, (lokah), there is equality (samastah) for happiness (sukinoh) and divinity for all, and this is truth (bhavantu). Or better put, may all beings be happy and free, and may we contribute to that happiness and freedom through our thoughts words and actions.
When I observe yoga teachers and studios promoting themselves by using celebrity client names to increase their profile, it seems to go against this fundamental idea of equality and oneness, instead elevating one individual above others, not necessarily for the right reasons. Is advertising in this way contributing to the hightened importance society places on external appearances, status, superstardom and wallet size, taking way from the objective of the philosophy and practice of yoga?
Celebrity is defined as “the state of being well known”.Â I invite you to take the opportunity in your practice to get to know yourself well, regardless of who is next to you on the mat. Show up as you are, without the fancy clothes, without the makeup, without the expectation of being of anything less or more than what you are in this moment; you are worth celebrating. Rejoice in the equality of All beings; transcend name, face, net worth, color, religion, and social status. Honor the sameness, the limitless potential of all, and choose to realize your potential as Love.