What your answer and mine probably have in common is that heros tend to be people who have consciously decided to contribute their energies to positive change in the world. That is also my definition of Karma yoga.
Yogis toss the work Karma around quite a bit. The popular notion of karma as "what goes around, comes around" isn't quite it. Different religions and philosophical systems have different interpretations of the same basic concept of the energetic impact of your life's actions, but in yoga, karma as selfless service is one of the possible paths to enlightment:
The word karma is derived from the Sanskrit kri, meaning 'to do'. In its most basic sense karma simply means action, and yoga translates to union. Thus karma yoga literally translates to the path of union through action.
Not all of us are prepared to dedicate our entire lives to a cause, but we can all consiously decide how we want to participate in the world.
Need a little more inspiration? In honor of Mahatma Ghandi's 143 birthday, MC Yogi posted a video tribute:
The Power of We
That's the theme of this year's Blog Action Day, an annual event designed to "unite the world’s bloggers by posting about the same issue on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all."
"The Power of We is a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around he world."
Ideas for Taking Action: Democracy Requires Participation
You might have heard that this is an election year in the United States. The next 4 years of executive branch governence, the entire U.S. House of Representatives, and 1/3 of the U.S. Senate offices are up for election. Not only that, countless state and local races for state and city government, school board, and more will affect our lives in sometimes very immediate ways.
In DC, for example, nearly half of the city schools lost their librarians to budget cuts this school year. Last spring, DCPS cut staff funding for librarians at all small elementary schools, those with fewer than 300 students. Some schools were able to fund their librarian out of their general budget, others used PTA fundraising money to support their libraries, but that still left 57 schools without librarians. All summer, parents volunteers have been working hard to get funding restored and to make this an election season issue. Mayor Grey, who directly oversees the school system, is not on the ballot but the city council and "State" Board of Education members for Wards 2, 4, 7 & 8 and At Large members are. What do you know about your candidates?
Perhaps learning about your election candidates seems like a small thing, but as a concious decision, it is karma yoga.
Want to do more? Consider going door to door for candidates to get out the vote. Distressed that DC doesn't have a vote in Congress and our presidential election outcome is not really in question? Virginia is considered a swing state in the presidential contest and Maryland often has hotly contested congressional races . . .
Hatha Yoga and Karma Yoga
How about free yoga for doing good? Lululemon is sponsoring election day yoga classes around the DC metro area, including my 6:30 am class at Capitol Hill Yoga. So get up early, get your yoga on, and hit the polls before the crowds.
Read More Power of We Posts
Moms Clean Air Force Embraces the Power of We - Moms Clean Air Force invites you to join them.
The Power of We: A Blogger's Musings - Strocel.com talks about how taking a stand is stepping out of her comfort zone.
Blog Action Day: "The Power of We - The White House blogs about their very cool "We the People" tool which allows anyone to petition the president directly.