Category: Eco Life

The Connection Between Yoga & Environmental Health

Both Yoga and Ecology have one central message: All things are connected. Yoga teaches that the illusion of separation is at the root of our suffering. Conversely, in Blissology, we believe that the more we blur the line between where we end and nature begins, the happier we will be.

Beyond meditating, protesting, and using an eco-friendly yoga mat, in my eyes, there are two main things that yogis can do (either personally or in their practice) that can help the environment or bring their attention to climate justice:

1. Practice Nature Appreciation Moments.

These are small moments everyday where we reset in nature and fall in love again with the planet. To feel the beauty of nature is the healthiest thing we can do for our own selves and the planet benefits too.

You don’t have to look far to see that we are living in radical disconnection from nature in modern urban living. Too many people on the planet get busy and forget our connection to nature so it becomes a commodity that is separate from us.

The idea of a Nature Appreciation moment is to slow your mind down and focus on something beautiful in nature. Even if you live in a city, take time to find a tree, a pant or to look up at the clouds. Let go of the crush of time and see the miracle in front of you. This entire process can take less than ten minutes but yields huge benefits.

Our species needs to have more reverence for nature. Ultimately, we protect what we revere. All changes need to start there. From this deep love of Nature.

2. EcoKarma

Personally, I have chosen a path based on the Karma Yoga school and started a movement called EcoKarma.

We bring yogis to places around the world where we transplant coral, clean up beaches, restore nature plants and plant trees. It is incredible to work with a group of like-minded yogis that care about giving back. This is the best anti-depressant I know.

3. Reducing our plastic impact

Aside from that, anything that lowers our footprint is incredible.

I am a proponent of moving past recycling and just reducing our use of single use plastic. This includes simple, easy things like carrying your own water bottle and refelling it vs. choosing a plastic single use water bottle.

Forbes calculated that we are consuming a million plastic bottles per minute and 91% of those are not recycled. Simply carrying a water bottle avoids this!

I think most yogis are probably in the habit of carrying our own shopping bags but I carry a plate, a cup, a glass straw and a coffee cup in my back pack everyday. It’s so easy to pull this out at restaurants and cafes instead of disposable plates.

I used to buy granola in bulk at Whole Foods and bring it home and put it in a glass mason jar. Now I’ve learned that many stores will weigh the mason jar first, then let you fill it and they will charge you only the difference in weight. No plastic is required but I have to be prepared.

In summary, it’s that simple. Plastic is convenient but we are choking on in as a society. The remedy is preparation. I need to clean my plate and fork at night and put it in my back pack. It takes a little time and pre-planning, but we have to value this as a culture. Preparation over convenience is key!

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One thing you can do? Participate in 3HO’s 40 Day Climate Strike Meditation. The meditation encourages yogis to recite the Prayer for Mother Earth by Guru Amar Das either 11 times each day or for 11 minutes each day over the course of the 40 days. Or join Eoin next Friday September 27 in Vancouver supporting our concerned youth for the climate change strike!

Join the EcoKarma Challenges!

Let’s keep plastic out of the ocean.

Challenge #1: Stop Sucking!

Our EcoKarma Challenge number 1 of 4 is to stop sucking.

Literally, every day there are 500 millions straws used per day in the USA alone. How can we reduce that number?  It’s easy—I carry a glass straw in my backpack.

Let’s commit to stop sucking this month!

Challenge #2: Go Topless!

Please share with eco-minded yogis you know and check out our EcoKarma Challenge to see how you can participate, make a change and even win some swag!

World Ocean Day 2015

Here’s two small things you can do to help the ocean:

Number one: Download this app and use it to make sure all your fish purchases are sustainable. Fish is seen as a healthy alternative to meat which may be true but we have overfished up to 90% of our top feeders like tuna.

Making the right choices are easy and here are some great apps.

http://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/our-app

Number two: choose eco carwashes. Yep, everything we put into the land ends up in the oceans eventually but runoff from carwashes are a big culprit. I learned this the year I lived in L.A.  Any urban surfer will tell you that you should not surf in the water 48 hours after it rains due to high bacteria levels from all the run off. Think about what is on the streets; oil, dog poo,  trash – it all ends up from our drains into the oceans. Most people don’t think about this, but surfers have plenty of stories of all the nastiness in our waters

Of course surfers being surfers are never able to pass up a wave. I did surf after the rains. The funny thing is what I noticed the most was a strange sudsy film on the water. It tasted like soap! I started to notice all the run off from carwashes and couldn’t help but think how important it is to support those that use eco-soap (low PH).  While in New Zealand this year, I learned that carwashes are required to grey water recycle.

We have a long way to go, but as you know, it’s one dollar, one vote; so let’s support the eco carwashes in your neighborhood; and know as you do this, you are supporting the health of the oceans and connecting all those myriad dots we call LIFE.