By Nichole Golden
As you grow and deepen your conversation with yoga, it becomes quite clear that the yoga practice must stretch far beyond the boundaries of that little sticky mat. Naturally, your practice begins to bleed into every part of your life, saturating your world with concepts like ahimsa (non-violence). Part of that concept is living in a way that is non-harming to the Earth.
Earth Day is the perfect opportunity to explore this mind-set, as we look for ways to give back to our life-sustaining planet. Every moment we are nourished and blessed by the abundant gifts of the Earth, and on this particular day we have the chance to give gratitude back to the source! This is a special chance to develop lasting rituals in your yoga practice and in your life that nurture an eco-centric approach to everyday living and that have the potential to last all year round.
Earth-inspired yoga practice
Look for ways to honor the Earth today in everything that you do, including your yoga practice. Here are two ways to celebrate the planet through yoga:
1. The hips and legs are the part of the body ruled by the Earth element. For Earth Day, try incorporating poses that focus on the legs, including:
Parasvottanasana (Pyramid Pose)
Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)
Hanumanasana (Splits Pose)
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
2. Allow your practice today to be very grounding and down-tempo. The vibration of the Earth element is the slowest of them all, so focus on longer holds and moving at a slower pace.
Eco-friendly yoga accessories
Even your yoga props can contribute to the health of your body and the planet.Yoga props include: mats, straps, blocks, towels, etc. As we become increasingly more conscious of our relationship to our bodies, we naturally become more active in the world of conscious consumerism. Investing in eco-conscious yoga gear is crucial.
On this day, set an intention to create some eco-centric habits that will inspire a relationship to the Earth that is reciprocal and sustainable. A few things you can do on Earth day and perhaps integrate into your regular routine are:
1. Leave your lights off for a full 24 hours to honor the Earth today, then make it a habit to turn lights off in rooms that you are not occupying.
2. Eat foods that don’t have any cardboard or plastic wrappings. These will most likely be foods that aren’t processed or prepared, so it’s also a healthy step for your body!
3. Turn off household electronics when you aren’t using them. Perhaps try not using them the entire day, a good practice in unplugging from the constant stimulation of the virtual world.
4. Plant a tree.
5. If you don’t already have a recycling or composting practice, start one! If you do, keep it up and inspire someone else to do so as well.
Happy Earth Day!