Yoga and the Climate Emergency
The bushfires this Australian summer have been deeply saddening. Not only are they a tragedy for the animals ecosystem and humans effected they remind us, in the starkest terms, of the immediate threat of climate change to our way of life and to the long term viability of our wonderful planet.
It is apparent to all thinking people that fundamental change to the way we live, especially in the wealthy western world, is necessary. Our consumption habits are at the top of the list. We cannot proceed as we have in the past assuming that our lifestyle choices are a right. They are in fact an extraordinary privilege. A privilege which, in light of overwhelming evidence we are abusing.
Yoga has an important role to play. Those of us who have been introduced to the consciousness raising aspects of yoga have hopefully move closer to this realisation and at least begun to examine this glaring example of Avidya, ignorance of the way our profligate lifestyles are destroying the basis for life on Earth.
But what to do?
Clearly we need to take both personal and political action. Whist we can begin to adjust our ways to become more sustainable, we need also to organise, to educate our fellow humans about what is required and to bring pressure to bear on our political leaders to push through the urgent changes required.
We should discuss these issues in local community settings and find ways to work together. Your local yoga school is a great place to start.
Yoga is not to enable us hide from the world. To the contrary, yoga helps us to become fully aware and engaged in our life and community. The polar alternative...dull, unconsiderate, thoughtless. Yoga provides the means for us to examine our own blind spots and prejudices in a non judgmental way. A yoga school is an ideal setting to form a group interested in pursuing personal and community action.
A friend of Iyogaprops, Rachel Fogasz, a concerned private citizen has developed a program
to help support individuals in their personal efforts and to foster community organisation. Rachel's program is called Climate 7. It contains suggestions for gentle daily action and reflection. Rachel's is a wonderful endeavour, we urge you to go her web site or the Climate 7 Facebook page to learn how you can make a diffference right now.
Yoga and Travel
Here I addres one of the great contradictions I see in the yoga world. We Australians have the largest per capita contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. Travel is one of the greatest contributors to global emissions. An aeroplane trip to Europe and back completely consumes an individuals fair share of global emissions for a year!! Ask yourself, "Is it necessary to travel vast distances to exotic locations to pursue consciusness raising through yoga?" I think a little more consciusness raising at home might yield a simple answer to that question.
Practice Practice Practice
Remember in the face of these challenges to keep up your practice. It is our practice which can support us in these challenging times and make us stronger and more effective agents for change.
For some more resources and contact points-
Climate for Change - Grassroots community educators.
Breakthrough - Research and strategy development for a safe climate
Extinction Rebellion - Activist group.