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Yogic Principles of MLK: Foundations for the HYPE/T PROJECT(Higher Yoga Police Edu/Training )

As the nation celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King and prepares to honor black lives during Black History Month, this country needs to recognize the full impact that Dr. King’s work had on history, and currently has on the future. The philosophical and behavioral seeds that Dr. King planted regarding saving humanity have fertilized. Now there is a readiness to produce and receive viable programs that can assist with the salvation of humankind. (See HYPE/T flyer below/attached) Dr. King, a true practitioner of Yoga principles, taught social and political activists in the United States and the world, how to transcend disruptive thinking and shed light to quail human unrest. His non-violent peace practices, known in ancient Sanskrit as Ahimsa, are rooted in the fundamental philosophical tenets of Yoga. In the 1960s, Dr. King conscientiously laid the foundation for turning violence into peace and hate into love. However, because our mass consciousness (i.e., our inner and outer awareness) regarding human potential was underdeveloped, its growth success was limited. Because there was inadequate societal support of that consciousness, its deep peace practices did not yield programs that protected all populations. Therefore, the ugly nefarious head of dehumanizing behavior resurfaced and increasingly showed up in multiple settings, but disproportionately with some police behavior in communities of color. During this past year, a massive shift in consciousness supporting/fostering/insisting that “all lives (truly) matter,” initiated a reawakening for the need of humanizing educational programs, and demonstrated readiness for more deliberate action in serving all human beings. Yoga has played a significant role during the last several decades in raising mass-consciousness; it has elevated awareness and respect for human life. The ancient practices of focused breathing, meditation, stretching and strengthening are now experienced by some 37 million persons throughout this nation (and millions more across the globe). Accessing greater personal health, restoring equanimity in behavior, and mitigating deeply implanted antagonistic perceptions- all underscore the reasons why these practices have found their way into the personal and professional lives of many. This shift in consciousness has furthered appreciation for the inherent qualities of Yoga, which enhance the value of one’s own life, the lives of others, and for life itself. The efficaciousness of Yoga in cultivating compassion, integrating, unifying, healing and humanizing individuals, now needs to be infused into police training programs, and applied in all communities where their service is to protect. HYer DYnamic Health Discoveries Inc. (HY-DY Inc.), a black-led, community-based health/education organization in Metro-Atlanta, the home of Dr. King, has picked up the torch enflamed with King’s yogic teachings. In June 2020, HY-DY responded to the outcry of Black Lives Matter and convened the Higher Yoga Police Edu/Training (HYPE/T) Taskforce. That taskforce is composed of retired police officers, Yoga teachers and therapists, mental health professionals, educators, faith leaders, doctors, lawyers, students and other diverse groups throughout North America. It has constructed and is ready to deliver, a pragmatic Yoga-based training program for law enforcers throughout the nation. The HYPE/T ethnically diverse taskforce has strategically developed a curriculum supported by pedagogy and predominately led by black men. These trained leaders in mind/body/spirit yogic principles, will demonstrate to those hired to serve and protect black communities, how peace practices can guide individual and communal behavior. The objective of the HYPE/T reformation program, is to improve the personal health and professional performance of law enforcers, enabling them to further the humane principles proselytized by Dr. Martin Luther King. by Naima Lewis Ph.D., E-RYT, C-IAYT Namaste


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