Yoga and Earth Day

As many of my students and friends know, I naturally struggle with one-legged balance poses. Because muscularly and neurologically balance requires practice, several years ago I made practicing one-legged balance poses a priority. Through this regular practice, I’ve become better at them (although still not what I would classify as good).

Similarly, I’ve recently found myself enjoying a regular meditation practice. I’m still just at the beginning of this practice, but already I can feel myself becoming more grounded and less affected by the sway of events around me — my mind is becoming more balanced.

In this context, I’ve been thinking about how Earth Day too is about balance and practice.

Specifically, the observance of Earth Day is about taking time to think about how to bring our modern life into balance with the requirements of the environment. Without constant awareness of our effects on the environment, humans will tend to exploit the natural world around us to bring short-term comforts. To break ourselves of these tendencies, we need to practice balance.

So today, in honor of Earth Day, begin a new practice that will bring you more into balance with the earth. Don’t worry about how big the impact is of the specific act: turn off one more appliance every evening, begin to air dry your clothes, or eat lower in the food chain one day a week. The important thing is to view this new practice as a permanent change — something you will practice the rest of your life.

By increasing your balance with the natural world a little bit every day, you will not only be reducing your negative impact, you will be expanding your practice of yoga.

Happy Earth Day!