Take your yoga practice off the mat into the world
Updated: Jul 26
Yoga is so much more than asanas (the poses) we practice on the mat. In the west, the focus is a lot about mastering challenging poses and we are constantly bombarded by the images of people in contortion…No wonder people get the wrong impression of yoga and stay away from it saying, “I’m not flexible to do yoga!” You don’t need to be flexible at all to start yoga. As per the famous quote by TKV Desikachar, “If you can breathe, you can do yoga”
Yoga is not just about practising asanas on the mat, in fact, asanas are described as just one of the 8 limbs of yoga. Yoga is not a religion but a spiritual practice, and if you ask me, a way of living.
Have you ever come across with one of the yogic principles of ahimsa? Ahimsa means non-harming or non-violence, one of the 5 yamas described by Patanjali in the ancient text of yoga called Yoga Sutra. This is a big topic! I still remember how heartbroken I felt by the images of animals being treated unethically in factory farming and cosmetic testing in the book titled Jivamukti Yoga, which was one of the recommended readings for my yoga teacher training. It was around this time I started becoming more and more aware of what I was eating and buying daily and started making small changes.
We can all extend this practice of ahimsa off the mat into daily life. It’s about practicing kindness wherever we can and being mindful of our actions, words and thoughts, making sure we are not harming others. I’ve come to this huge realisation that I was doing so much harm to our beautiful oceans and our marine life (unintentionally of course!) by mindlessly using so much plastic on a daily basis.
Plastic water bottles, plastic containers, toothbrushes, plastic bottle dispensers for shampoo & body soap. Almost everything we use daily come wrapped in plastic like fruits and veggies, feminine hygiene products, toilet rolls…the list is endless. You go out and get yourself a healthy dose of green juice or smoothie but you are sipping out of plastic straw. You get a takeaway lunch and it comes in a plastic container and with a plastic cutlery…
Even worse is the life as a mum, surrounded by even more plastic – nappies, wet wipes (yep, I didn’t know the big brands you see in supermarkets are made of plastic), baby foods in plastic pouches and plastic toys for your little one…It’s EVERYWHERE!
We have become so used to having the convenience of single-use disposable plastic and our planet is now suffering the consequence. I learned that a lot of plastic sadly ends up in our oceans. We need to take action now and start living in harmony with the nature. The mother earth has always given us so much. It’s the time for us to look after her.
So lets take a look around what products we are using everyday. Before we buy anything, we can start asking ourselves the following questions –
· Is it necessary?
· What is it made of? (Is it made of recycled material or sustainable material?)
· Is it kind to the earth or harmful?
· What’s going to happen at the end of its life? Is it recyclable? Biodegradable?
We can also start embracing the following idea of refuse, reduce, reuse, upcycle and recycle.
1. Refuse single-use disposable plastic. Say no to plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic water bottles, containers and cutleries.
2. Reduce unnecessary plastic waste. Avoid purchasing fruits & vegies that come wrapped in plastic and go to a local farmer’s markets or health food shops that allow you to buy things in bulk and bring your own produce bags and jars.
3. Reuse Start collecting all the glass jars & bottles instead of tossing them in a yellow recycling bin and reusing them in your kitchen for storing nuts, seeds and grains. I also use them to store leftover food in our fridge and they also make a great candleholder.
4. Upcycle Check out upcycle that website at https://www.upcyclethat.com
and get creative! Turn things into something different with a new purpose
5. Recycle check with your local council what can go into yellow recycling bins. Did you know you can take soft plastic to the REDcycling bin instead of throwing it in the red bin for general rubbish? Check out their website here
Also take advantage of Return and Earth program
When you are at the beach next and if you see any rubbish, would you be kind enough to pick it up for the ocean? It really doesn’t matter who littered. It’s our innocent marine life that suffers if it’s left behind…
If you're interested in exploring this topic further, and wanna get more ideas for reducing plastic and like to connect with other like-minded people so you don't have to do this ALONE, check out this FREE online workshop that's hosted by one of my friends, Jess. (Hit the workshop title below to find out more)
Wednesday 28th July 2021
Hosted by Jess Silver, creator of the Kickstart Living Podcast
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