2.4
April 17, 2012

A Guide to Earth-Friendly Yoga.

The structure of your yoga practice allows you to gently, naturally lean into a more ecologically-aware lifestyle.

Skills you embrace to deepen your spiritual and meditative yoga bonds also support a sound connection with Earth and nature.

 

>Set an Intention

When you wake each day, bring positive energy and warmth to the first nudge of the light of morning. Recall the Earth’s steady orbit that carried us throughout the night. Appreciate that the day ahead holds opportunity to awaken to nature’s blessings. Set an intention to choose wisely and tread lightly.

Try this: Close your eyes and stretch long while still in your cozy bed. Address the day with positive energy and commit to remain in tune with nature’s messages and sustainable choices. For example, use Sacred World to inspire your personal intention.

>Follow the Path

Throughout the day, seek balance in your consumption and activities. Before buying, eating or participating ask yourself if each action is in accordance with an ecologically sound path. Allow only pure and Earth-kind options to infuse your day. Stay grounded and establish that you are on a path, a path that at the moment is deeply rooted to Earth.

Try this: Connect with an organization that guides you on your sustainable, spiritual journey. For example, The Yoga of Ecology.

>Be Aware

Being open to all things in nature reminds us that we can’t separate ourselves from Earth’s ecosystems. Don’t rush through the day and miss the touch of sun on your face or the sound of a red-winged blackbird in the distance. It’s valuable to recognize that as the seasons change, nature’s offerings will too. Recall that wildlife and the seasons aren’t created for us, but that our time on Earth is a spiritual existence in accordance with nature.

Try this: Before you step into the world, open your heart and eyes with a meditation. For example, Joesph Emet’s Ecology is Every Step meditation.

>Embrace Acceptance

We can’t do it all by ourselves. Don’t get frustrated, scared or angry about today’s ecological challenges. Also, resist the urge to buy greenwashed products, or speak righteously about your choices. Ecology is not part of our fashion. At times, the most efficient step forward is in partnership with something larger than ourselves. Understand that your message and outcomes might be more clear through activism and advocacy.

Try this: Connect with a messenger of need and through acceptance of their plight, you may find your own new trail. For example, follow an organization such as EcoWatch, for information on how you can participate in a larger, vocal, Earth-minded community.

>Emerge in Ahimsa

Live on the Earth as a non-harming member. This means that you should leave no trace while you are in the wilderness.  It also means that you should consider the impact made by your larger footprint.  Do your choices and ventures create hurt or pain? Do they destroy or take from the planet and her inhabitants?

Try this: Resolve to remove one or two wasteful, ecologically harmful behaviors from your day.  For example, bike instead of firing up your car. Enjoy Ten Quotes to Inspire Cycling.

 >Employ an Earth-Inspired Yoga Routine

Take your mat outside and infuse your soul and body with deep breaths of fresh air.  Find a natural place that suits you, a tucked-away space where you can hear birds, see sky, witness Nature’s breath. Expand in poses that bring to mind the Earth and living things.

Try this: Create a routine that includes poses reminiscent of the Earth. For example, Out-of-Doors Yoga for Spring.

 

Get motivated! Enjoy creative, natural, Earth-yoga material. Here’s pure, fresh inspiration to get outside and take a cleansing breath:

 Simple Inspirations.

The Lake: The Yoga Practice of Peace.

A Spring New Moon.

What Is Grounded Spirituality.

The Growth of Outdoor Yoga

Red Rock Outdoor Yoga with Lily

Kosha Yoga in Arches

~

A Poem

~ Author Unknown

When I roam lofty mountains I feel like my soul is raised on high and covered like the peaks in never melting caps of snow.

And when I descend into the valleys I feel deep and profound like them and my heart fills with mysterious shadows.

The same thing happens at the edge of the sea. There I merge with the surging waves: they pound and roar within me.

When I gaze at the sky I expand. I become boundless, unlimited.

When I look at the stars, silence permeates me.

When I see a flower the ecstasy of beauty overwhelms me.

When I hear a bird singing, its songs is an echo of my own inner voice, and when I look into the eyes of an animal I see no difference between them and my own.

Gradually my separate existence has vanished for the illusion that it was…

Only Peace remains.

~

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Jill Barth

Jill Barth, elephant journal green team leader, lives in Illinois with her husband and kids. She reminds you to breathe.

Jill’s writing can be found on her blog, Small Things Honored.