As a nature lover, practicing yogi, and what some may call a tree-hugging-hippy, I’ve been thinking of Earth Day activities to honor and show my love for this sacred planet. As most of us know, there are Earth Day celebrations all over the world, and there are so many steps we can take to make a difference; like planting a tree, growing a veggie patch, cleaning up some rubbish off your local beach or park, using cloth bags at the grocery store, not buying bottled water, hanging our clothes on the line and forgoing the dryer, taking shorter or even cold showers, turning off the lights and appliances when not in use, and of course reuse and recycling bottles, jars, plastic containers and cardboard as much as possible. These are things I do on a daily basis, especially since moving to Australia, as I have become particularly aware of how these small steps can not only improve our environment and the planet, but our pocket book as well.
What I was really trying to wrap my head around in the lead up to Earth Day, was coming up with some other Earth Day ideas that will especially appeal to yogis and my mini yogis?
The obvious answer is asana (the physical yoga postures), so of course I did my usually morning practice outside, despite the colder temperatures (for those that aren’t aware, we are heading into winter here in Australia). I started my practice off my mat and on the grass in my backyard. As I began in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) I stood tall and reflected how nice it was to be outside breathing fresh clean air, and I slowly moved into Vrksasana (Tree Pose) with my foot firmly rooted into Mother Earth, my arms outstretched towards the sun like branches, feeling the grass under the ball and heel of my foot, noticing the grains of sand and dirt in between my toes. The balance required for this enlightening posture, reflects the beautiful balance of the natural world. Next, I dove straight into my Sun Salutations to honor the warmth and light that bring life to our glorious planet.
I wont give you the play by play of my Earth Day practice, because a) this would be a ridiculously long blog post and b) I’m sure even the most enthusiastic of yogis would be bored stiff.
My point is, whether you’re a yogi or not, showing some appreciation for Mother Earth by going outside and bowing down to her and reaching up and saluting the sky, is actually quite fulfilling, and a beautiful way to start the day.
And if I might add, observing Earth Day doesn’t only have to be done on April 22nd, it can be done any day that you want to give gratitude for this amazing planet we live on. Here are some ideas for yogi’s to put into action for the future:
1) Take your home practice outdoors. If you teach yoga, take your class outside. At the very least, it’s an opportunity to get out of the house or studio and get your vitamin D intake by soaking up some sun.
2) Take your meditation practice to a tranquil, peaceful location outside. Sit by the river, lake or ocean. Set yourself up under a tree’s shade. Find a welcoming space to sit in absolute stillness.
3) Brighten up your indoor yoga space with some greenery. Invest in a bamboo plant, or some herbs or anything that lives and breathes and creates oxygen in your home or studio.
4) Go green! Use lavender, eucalyptus and/or tea-tree oil and water to clean your mat. It’s a 100% eco-friendly solution and works on any surface. You can now dispose of all of your toxic cleaning products and harsh chemicals. Opt for natural. You’re welcome.
5) Dedicate your practice to Mother Nature by setting your intention at the start of your practice in expression of your gratitude for all the ways Mother Nature supports you.
6) Practice by candlelight. (I do this often in winter and I love it) Turn off the lights to conserve energy and to attract some soothing, sensual vibes into your yoga space.
So there is my bit on Earth Day from the Yogi perspective. Hope you all had a wonderful Earth Day, and here’s hoping that every day can be Earth Day in some way or another.