Moving Beyond Asana and Creating a Sustainable Life
When I first began my yoga journey, I’ll admit, I did it for the toned abs and tight butt. I mean, who could blame me? We see these beautiful inspirational women flexing around in athletic wear and think yoga is the answer to all our physical worries. And it is, to a certain extent, but there is so much more that is unlocked after you’ve developed a steady practice.Once I had practiced yoga consistently for six months, I noticed a subtle shift in my psyche. Over time, it turned into a change in my awareness. Awareness not only of myself but the world around me and how my actions shape the planet. I became hyper-focused on each moment, each decision I made and the repercussions.
I began to dig deep within myself and when I cultivated that awareness and focus the outside world started to shift. I felt as if I was truly seeing things for as they were. Notably, I felt incredibly turned off by the constant blaring advertisements from clothing brands pushing people to overconsume. Trend after trend would come and I could feel the tense and consumption-driven energy that these companies were polluting the world with.
More, more, more. Buy, buy, buy.
It was at this point that I realized the dangers of my spending and how fast fashion impacts the planet. The places I chose to support with my dollar could detrimentally destroy, or save, our Earth.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Lao Tzu
Often times, we think that because we are just one person, we cannot make a difference. We feel our footprint is too small, but it is where that initial thought started that revolution comes.
Of course, with any major life changes, research had to be done. I watched movies, like The True Cost, that spoke of the impacts of fast fashion. I started following eco-friendly bloggers, like Valeria from WaterThruSkin, taking tips and tricks from their books, and I began to devote myself to living a more sustainable life.
The Internet has unlimited resources on eco-living just waiting for you to tap into.
Sites like Rêve En Vert are changing the world making sustainability and ethical decisions accessible to the masses. With their commitment to bettering the world, they put together a platform that supplies readers with a specially curated collection of conscious fashion that supports the sustainable movement. In addition to their fashion platform, they seamlessly weave important topics on sustainability and conscious living on their editorial platform, REV Talk.
Reality hits when you start to notice the world around you.
At first, it wasn’t easy to make the switch. There was a lot of shame and guilt that came from understanding how my actions impacted the world, even if it was just the products I filled my home with and wore on my body. I was so eager to change and make a big impact immediately. I noticed friends and their compulsive shopping habits and had to learn where the line was drawn on unsolicited opinions. Sorry, friends!
As a yogi, having solely a physical practice seemed selfish, and I knew that I had the power to do and be more in this world. I wanted to be an example.
Most of the companies that operate globally are doing some type of damage to the planet in one way or another. Whether it’s unfair wages and work environments for employees or improper removal of excess goods, there is a myriad of social, economic and environmental problems corporations pollute our planet with today.
The only reason they are in business? Because we still buy their products and condone their actions.
Choosing where you spend your money is a simple shift that makes a huge difference. The beauty of being in the world of yoga is that there are so many conscious brands that devote their entire mission to running an ethical business.
Brands like Teeki manufacture ethical athletic wear. By creating their entire line out of recycled plastic and plastic bottles collected from the beach, they are at the forefront of the conscious revolution. With funky designs and prices below those that you see at Lululemon, it is a no brainer that support should be sent in their direction.
Do Your Own Digging for Truth
You don’t need to make a giant shift overnight. Instead, begin to identify the areas of your life that could use a detox of sorts. Do your own research on what the best step and action would be moving forward. Collect information from multiple sources and follow your intuition on what feels good and what doesn’t.
Once you start to turn your attention to living a more sustainable life, there is a sense of empowerment with every action you take. Whether that be using organic products or buying from certified fair trade companies, you step outside of yourself to give.
Giving back is the ultimate gift to yourself.
Maybe it’s making the switch from fast to slow fashion. Maybe you buy a bike and stop driving to work. Or maybe, you chose to eliminate animal protein from your diet. Whatever you chose to start with, live within the gratitude that you have made a choice to positively impact our planet.
That you are leaving the world better than you found it.