Do I Practice Green Yoga?

Do you consider your yoga practice “green?” Why? There are three indicators that point to a defined green yoga practice.

Part 1: Your practice is grounded in the Earth

Yoga is more than a mere physical practice. The psychology and philosophy of yoga expands beyond our bodies into our minds and souls. But, as BKS Iyengar famously notes, it all starts with the basic, physical benefits noticeable with your very first practice. This is the core of all yoga, and it is the continued focus of green yoga.

A practitioner of green yoga attempts to feel connected to the Earth through physical movement. To give your practice more roots, concentrate on the fullest expression of each pose. For example, feel the refinements made in twisting your hips just slightly more forward in Warrior One. In each pose, note the connection to your breath and the world around you. This physical concentration is the base of a strong green yoga practice.

Part 2: You opt for green yoga materials

Once you have centered your physical body on the connection you have with the greater environment, show your appreciation for this connection by caring for the world around you. Today, many yoga companies offer organic clothing options, mats made of recycled materials and other green options. Being truly green, though, is often more about what you don’t purchase than what you do.

Concentrate on reducing the waste you create by selecting reusable water bottles or accessories with low amounts of packaging. Opting to wash your yoga apparel only when you have a full load of clothing conserves water; donating mats still in good condition to local gyms can result in even more utility from your products. The more you reuse instead of buy new, the more you help sustain the environment around you.

Part 3: You take it off the mat

If you make great efforts to purchase green yoga materials but are wasteful in your home life, you are not completing the cycle. One of the hardest aspects of yoga, whether green yoga or not, is taking the practice off the mat. Do you apply your yoga practice to breath through stresses in the real world? This is one way to take your practice off the mat. Do the same with your green habits.

Some simple tips to apply your new found greenness elsewhere include:

  • Following water conservation guidelines, specifically if you live in a drought area such as Los Angeles.
  • Use the recycling services provided to you the RIGHT way – by rinsing and sorting your recyclables so they may be reused.
  • Recycle in your home first. For example, reuse printer paper for every day tasks. You can print directions just as easily on the opposite side of a piece of paper.
  • Save some money while being green by using less electricity. Turn out lights, turn off computers and, most importantly, turn off those flat screen televisions when you are not watching! Large TVs use up a tremendous amount of power.
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