In Yoga

The Importance of Unity: Reflecting on the Solar Eclipse

Three people watching the Solar Eclipse in New York City, Bryant Park

On Monday August 21st, the United States experienced a total Solar Eclipse – the first one to occur in 99 years.

There had been a great deal of energy buzzing around the country leading up to this cosmic event and finally it arrived with awe-inspiring beauty.

Man watching the solar eclipse in Bryant Park, New York City

I took the scene in at Bryant Park and it was spectacular! Clouds started rolling in around 1:30PM, but this didn’t stop thousands of New Yorkers from flooding in to witness the big moment – together. This togetherness is what took my breath away. On this day of unity between the sun and the moon, we all experienced it as a joyous collective. For these few hours people were able to set aside their social and political leanings to unify in reverence of such a moment, staring up to the stars.

People watching the solar eclipse in Bryant Park, New York City 2017

Even if you’re not in to astrology, it’s times like these that put our place on Earth and in this ever-expanding universe back in to perspective. After all, we are human beings and the earth is our home.

The meaning of the word “Yoga” is “Union”. In Sri Swami Satchidananda’s commentary on The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali he discusses identifications. He writes:

“Without any identifications (husband, wife, tall, short, black, white, etc.) who are you? If you detach yourself completely from all things you have identified with, you realize yourself as the pure “I.” In that pure “I” there is no difference between you and me. Using the scientist’s language, there is nothing but energy everywhere. Behind the different forms of energy is one unchanging consciousness or spirit or Self. If we could calm our minds and get to the basis of these modifications, we would find the unity among everything. That is the real Yogic life. Only then can we love our neighbors as our own Self.”

Kids photographing the solar eclipse in Bryant Park, New York City 2017

As you move forward in your day, notice if you seem to identify with your thoughts and body and not with your true self; the voice within your heart that does not need words. The way to return to that place of mindfulness is by stopping to take a conscious breath, giving it our complete attention. When we stop to take a breath in this way we can unite the body and mind coming home to ourselves.

Below are some more photos from my time in Bryant Park on Monday. All images are copyright Stephanie Naru Photography. If you would like to see more of my photography work, please visit http://www.stephanienaruphoto.com

Taking in the solar eclipse with cereal boxes and glasses, Bryant Park NYC 2017

Taking in the solar eclipse with cereal boxes, Bryant Park NYC 2017

Two business men taking in the solar eclipse in Bryant Park, New York City 2017