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What does yoga have to do with climate action?

Friday, October 30, 2009 by Marianne Elliott

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Teaching yoga in the sunshine for International Climate Action Day. Photo by Pedram Pirnia of 'Art against War' (Check out Pedram's amazing photos from Afghanistan)

The event I organised for the International Day of Climate Action (24 October) was a free outdoor yoga class in a park in Wellington. So what does yoga have to do with climate action?

As I understand it yoga is a pathway towards the simple but sometimes shocking reality that we really are all one.

The yoga sutras, by Patanjali, set out a very precise system of practices that is designed to bring all aspects of our being into greater balance and harmony.

The yoga path doesn't require us to believe anything, it only invites us to practice. Through practice arises not faith but awareness.

As we follow the path and commit to the practices of yoga we begin to awaken to our own true nature. We come to understand that there is no separation between "me" and "you", nor between "people" and "the planet".

There is no longer an 'away' to which to throw our waste. There is no 'them' on whom to blame the problem, nor to rely upon for a solution. Everywhere is here, everyone is us.

Once we start to wake up to this reality it becomes natural, easy and even inevitable that we will want to live as sustainably as possible.

PS: For more thoughts on what yoga has to do with climate change read these great posts by my friends and co-conspirators in goodness: Nick Potter of Intersect and Kara-Leah Grant of PranaFlow NZ

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5 Responses to "What does yoga have to do with climate action?"

  1. Swirly says:

    I love these analogies, and that it is all about maintaining a practice versus perfection.

  2. Angela Negro says:

    I wish I had’ve been there! Once again!

  3. it amazes me always how much the perception of separation limits us, makes every effort seem so hard and insurmountable.
    love how you linked the waking up to same-ness with a natural ease toward making change.

  4. megg says:

    Oooh, I love this. I love this so much. I am currently going through a profound shift in my head and all of the signposts have been pointing towards connection. I’ve been so overwhelmed by the feelings, I am not always sure what to do with them. I think I have told you before how bad I am at yoga. (I always get really sick.) I hope that one day you can help ease me through a few poses!! Maybe it is the outlet I have been waiting for!

  5. Emily Perry says:

    Look at you in all of your awesomeness! You inspire me everyday!

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