Let’s make yoga a part of daily life in New Zealand

More people doing yoga, yeah!

On Friday night we had Swami Muktidharma from Anahata Yoga Retreat here at our house for Kirtan.

It was a treat.

Just the singing would have been amazing.

But in between mantras, Swami Muktidharma spoke about life, about transformation, about the planet, about spirituality.

One thing he said really stuck in my mind. I’m totally paraphrasing here… but it went something like this:

The Green Party is all good and well, but in the end, in order to create real and lasting change, the only thing we need to focus on changing is our minds.

Our minds are what we experience life though. Polluted minds equals a polluted planet. Conflicting minds equals a planet at war.

I get this.

Change our minds and we change our world.

The Swami went on to say that:

Yoga is the way to do this.

Yoga transforms our minds. Yoga changes our world.

And in my mind… what this means is the more people have access to Yoga in it’s broadest and deepest sense, the more people practice yoga, the more minds we change, the more we change our world.

In my private sessison with Swami Muktidharma the following morning, we spoke about what a spiritual life is like. Again, I’m paraphrasing. Here’s what the Swami had to say:

A spiritual life is right here, right now, right where we are. It is not renounciation. I renounce renounciation! Wherever you are, whatever is right in front of you, that is where you do your work.

What’s right in front of me is The Yoga Lunchbox.

And I want to use it to make yoga a part of daily life in New Zealand by doing the following:

  1. Modelling the change I want to see. Being that change and writing about it in Musings from the Mat.
  2. Providing access to yoga information so that other people can be their own change.
  3. Create connections between all these people being the change in their lives so we can inspire, inform and support each other.

But I can’t do this alone.

I need your help.

You, the person who reads The Yoga Lunchbox.

You, the person who is part of The Yoga Lunchbox community.

You, who stand to directly gain by helping me achieve  my aims of making yoga a part of daily life here in New Zealand.

You’re likely already practicing yoga, and I bet your life has changed for the better since you started.

How would your life change for the better if more of your friends, family, and workmates  also practiced yoga?

You may be teaching yoga.

How would you benefit if the percentage of people in New Zealand practicing yoga leapt from 5% (a rough estimate based on an old SPARC survey) to 20%?

Imagine four times as many yoga practitioners in New Zealand – what would that do for your classes, your workshops, your studios?

So how do we do this, together, as The Yoga Lunchbox community? How do we make yoga a part of daily life in New Zealand?

I don’t know yet.

But I do know that just asking this question is the beginning.

I know that offering this platform up to the community is also a beginning. Yes, this is your platform to use.

As the yoga community, I encourage you to get in touch with me when you have ideas that involve using The Yoga Lunchbox. I always want to hear your ideas!

I’m working on other beginnings right now. Things like:

  1. Bringing on more talented and knowledgable columnists to cover a broader area of Yoga topics, people like Peter Fernando, The Meditation Guy.
  2. Creating an all-encompassing Event Listing page where you’ll be able to see who’s teaching what, when and where all over the country at any time. And you’ll be able to effortlessly search this database too. Great for students looking for yoga, great for teachers looking for gaps and needs that require filling.
  3. Freeing up my time so I can focus on writing because I know that when I write articles about how yoga plays out in my daily life, I get surges of traffic to the website, and emails from people are are moved by what I write.

If you’re a part of the yoga community in New Zealand (and in the wider world) you can begin to help right now to make yoga a part of daily life in New Zealand by:

  1. Sharing the articles that move you with friends, family, and workmates – even if they don’t practice yoga. Many of these articles are relevant to anyone who wants to experience less suffering and more peace in their daily life.
  2. Linking to The Yoga Lunchbox from your website – not just with a text link, but with a blurb sharing why you care about The Yoga Lunchbox enough to refer it to your audience. I can send you a personalised image if you like – just ask me!
  3. Writing about your experience of yoga for the website. I love guest articles because they widen the voices of the website and create a deeper sense of community. They don’t have to be long either – 300 words of passionate sharing is awesome!

There’s other ways too.

Each of you has access to resources, talents and skills that are particular to who you are.

Those resources, talents and skills could all be employed in different ways to help me achieve my aim of making yoga a part of daily life in New Zealand.

If we can do this, together, as a community, we will have a dramatic effect on the nature of life here in New Zealand.

More yoga means more awareness, more mindfulness, more health, more heart-opening and more cohesive creation of community. It means less stress, less anxiety, less conflict, less separation.

More yoga in our lives effects everything we do and everybody we come into contact with.

It’s something each and everyone of us has total control over. We can all do more yoga. We can all share more yoga.

Change can only come from within, and we have what it takes to make that change.

Me, I’m changing the world, one mind at a time, starting with my own.

Are you with me?

ps. I’m not just taking about yoga as asana either, I’m talking about Yoga as a way of being.

I’m talking abou Yoga as a state of awareness that we reach because we practice asana, and pranayama, and meditation, and mantra, and yantra.


  1. says

    Hi Kara-Leah,

    You are doing such an amazing job. Thank you Kara-Leah I love your down to earth writing, and enjoy following your journey. I printed off one of your articles, and past it to a fellow yoga teacher, as I felt it was so potent, and well written. http://theyogalunchbox.co.nz/2011/02/02/why-i-may-never-take-another-yoga-class-ever-again/

    Ahh, thanks for sharing to much advice. I really need it; I’m just starting out as a yoga teacher, and feel blessed to have met Swami Muktdharma whilst I was training at Rhikia in India a few years ago. Synchronicity led me to bump in to him a few years later in Nelson airport, a gentle reminder that yoga should be an important part of my life.

    I’d be delighted to place and link for The Yoga Lunchbox (and some nice comments) on my website http://www.wellnestnelson.com, so please send me a html link, and I’ll upload it. Meanwhile, I’ve tweeted and shared your links via my FB page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wellnest-Nelson/185854154817376

    Keep up the fantastic work, and thank you again for your wisdom, wit and wonderful writing.

    Ruth Amitashakti : )

  2. Emma Furness says

    Hey there :-) Happy to link and write about Yoga Lunchbox on website more, and any other ideas too…
    …we at The Yoga Studio in Dunedin are trying to think of more ways to make yoga accessible as the economy shifts… (e.g barter classes, having a ‘club’ instead of a studio/business as a way to create sustainable communities, setting up a ‘new’ way to exchange energy before the old way breaks down…) I’m really interested in ways we can do this. If anyone has ideas, contact me:
    Emma Furness
    The Yoga Studio
    03 4771180

    • Kara-Leah Grant says

      Hey Emma,

      Fascinated to hear what you’re getting up to and would be really interested to know what all works out for you! This could be something worth exploring via community discussion too, so if you want to write an article about what you’re doing or considering and why, I’d definitely be keen to look at publishing it.


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