mind the light

photo credit:  james jackson

photo credit: james jackson

earlier this month, i accompanied my partner to his 25th high school reunion. beyond telling me where he had gone to school, he never at any point in time described the setting. similarly, i had not looked up the school on my own. when i arrived, i found that not only was he educated in a natural setting with lots of greenery, but also in an environment that believed that there is the light of God in us all. it occurred to me in that moment that this man that i have so deeply fallen in love with has been cultivating and nurturing his inner light since before i became aware of my own. and while i was busy competing for the head cheerleader position at portland high school, he was  learning how to “mind the light.”


i am fascinated by how much our environment particularly as young people shapes who we become in our adult lives. when i look back at high school, i cannot recall being concerned with much beyond my grades and sports. high school was not what i would consider “enriching” and while we contemplated a bit, it certainly was not about seeing the light in everyone or shining the light for others to see themselves and the world more clearly. it has taken years of individual work to understand that there is light in us all, it has always been there, and always will guide our way. 


what if we taught our children from birth to see their light and to recognize that light in others? what if we held the light for each other when we had trouble seeing? what if we entered every relationship with the intention to mind the light? my heart is overfilled with hope just contemplating such a world.


the fundamental purpose of a yoga practice is to create clarity, calm, balance, alertness, and ease. and in my experience, it has been a practice of seeing the light in myself and in others. the following quote from yogi bhajan says it beautifully …


you are a lighthouse,

so no one can wreck near you.

that is the one thing in life you have to do.

spread the light. be the lighthouse.

so every journey, every destiny,

every distance will be safe. 


i challenge you today to be the lighthouse.


big love,




Nya Alemayhu

Nya Alemayhu is an author, entrepreneur, wellness coach, and yoga teacher based in Washington, DC. Nya began her physical asana practice in 2004 while attending university. She received her first teaching certificate in 2013 and has been sharing the gift of yoga ever since.