“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” John Muir. Yogis are familiar with the idea of connectedness; to have faith in the links between all things, fostering the sense of being apart of something larger than oneself. On our mat, we practice breath to movement; in a studio, we can feel the energy connecting us when we chant om. On Earth Day, we can connect with others to make positive changes in our communities that impact the health our planet.
The feeling of connectedness creates a sense of community and also implies certain responsibilities: If we are all part of a larger picture, then we must not harm others because we will eventually be harming ourselves. This goes back to the first yama in Yoga Sutra, ahimsa, which means non-violence to all living things, including Mother Earth.
Connect with Mother Earth to celebrate Earth Week, April 20-26, and go green with your yoga practice. Take your practice outdoors in natural light – sway in tree pose with the gentle spring breeze, listen to the birds chirp and enjoy the fresh air. Ever try candlelight yoga? Turn off the lights in your room, light a few candles to create a calming atmosphere and get your candlelight flow on! You’ll be saving energy and money on your electricity bill, and experience the challenge with balancing poses by practicing in candlelight.
Here are 5 more ways to make your yoga practice eco-friendly:
- Commute Green: Walk, ride your bike or take public transportation to your yoga class. You’ll enjoy the change of scenery and you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint – every commute adds up! I walk or ride my bike to work almost every day (my exception is rainy days – I’m a wuss, I know) and for my 4-mile roundtrip commute, I reduce my carbon footprint by nearly a half metric ton of CO2 emissions annually!
- Practice Green: Use an eco-friendly yoga mat. Jade makes sustainable yoga mats from natural rubber in the United States.
- Wear Green: Practice in organic cotton, hemp or bamboo clothing. The production of nonorganic cotton is responsible for 25% of the United States’ insecticide use.
- Rehydrate Green: According to the Sierra Club, 1.5 million barrels of oil are used to make plastic water bottles every year in the United States. So ditch the plastic try a PVC-free stainless steel water bottle like the Klean Kanteen.
- Eat Green: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the average meal travel 1500 miles. Reduce your carbon footprint and buy produce and goods at a local farmers market, or shop in the local food section at your neighborhood grocery store.
Whatever you choose to do to honor Earth Week, keep in mind that your small lifestyle changes connect with and influence other like-minded individuals to collectively make a huge impact towards preserving and restoring the health of Mother Earth!
Peace. Love. Happy Earth Day.