As climate change activism heats up this month (the Global Climate Strike is taking place from September 20-27), yoga studios, teachers, and organizations are joining the call for a healthier environment and sustainable future. Eoin Finn, founder of Blissology and the EcoKarma foundation, encourages yogis to recognize their connection with nature and make preserving the planet a lifestyle.
“We are one with the environment” says Finn. “Take breathing for example. Breathing brings the outer world inside of you. We take air into our bodies and it passes through us via our blood – it’s hard to separate where physiology ends and the environment begins. Our job as yogis is to create experiences and rituals in our practice where we feel this interconnection.”
Amy Ippoliti, another renowned yoga teacher and environmental activist, pushes for action above all else. “We are deeply interconnected with all life on earth and the practice of yoga only heightens that awareness. Our actions need to be consistent and relentless. Let’s be clear.”
Here are six ways yogis can get involved in climate activism.
Participate in 3HO’s 40 Day Climate Strike Meditation. From September 20-October 29, 3HO, the organization that represents the global community of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, encourages you to recite the Prayer for Mother Earth by Guru Amar Das either 11 times each day or for 11 minutes each day for 40 days. If memorizing the meditation seems a little too daunting, feel free to listen to its musical rendition for 11 minutes instead while you sit in your preferred meditation posture. This meditation will bring your awareness toward the climate, allowing you to reflect on what this crisis means for the planet and how your actions are impacting the environment (for better or worse).
“Preparation over convenience is key,” says Finn. He recommends reducing consumption instead of relying on recycling, which means carrying items like, “a plate, a cup, a glass straw, a coffee cup, shopping bags, and a mason jar” with you so you don’t need single-use plastic packaging and to-go containers. Preparation can also act as an effective substitute for seated meditation. Washing your reusable dishes keeps you conscious of your environmental impact and provides a few minutes for you to reflect on the difference that you made today. Just don’t leave the water running!
The Global Climate Strike is taking place from September 20-27. Millions of people across nearly every major city in the world will be taking to the streets to demand actions be taken against climate change. Find a gathering near you and make your voice heard.
Did you know that the United Nations is holding the Climate Action Summit on September 23? Learn about what this summit is addressing and share your thoughts on it with friends, family members, and social media followers. Keeping the conversation around climate change going brings other people’s awareness to the issue. You may even want to call your representatives to make sure they don’t ignore the issue.
Support Organic Farms
Ippoliti encourages everyone to support organic farms. Specifically, those “using regenerative agriculture.” Regenerative agriculture promotes carbon sequestration, which the United States Geological Survey explains is, “the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Forbes reports that regenerative agriculture has the potential to remove over one trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by storing the CO2 in the soil. Ask your local farmer about the practice the next time you’re at a farmer’s market.
See also Local Appeal
Make Small Changes
Consider riding your bike to your local yoga studio instead of driving. Not only will you limit your greenhouse-gas emissions and fossil fuel use, studies have shown that you’ll actually be less exposed to air pollution than drivers. Further, investing in an eco-friendly yoga mat and reusable water bottle are simple ways of making your practice reflect your intention. Forbes calculated that humans are consuming one million plastic bottles per minute and only 9% of those plastic bottles are being recycled. Keeping a reusable water bottle on you is a simple way of not participating in this problem.