It is raining and the week has finally ended. Lately I've been wondering at the lack of media coverage/talk on environmental issues JUST when we need to hear them the most- before the Copenhagen Summit in December. Although during the drama I didn't want to mention it, but the H1N1 paranoia completely overshadowed the very real and pressing climate change issues that need to be discussed.
Which leads me to why aren't these issues discussed more in the Yoga platform? For myself, being a Yogini also means that I can't deny being an environmentalist. However, at this moment in history, being a human means that it's time to recognize our Earth needs dramatic human change. I thought I'd share a bit as to why caring about climate change matters to you, dear reader.
Firstly, lets just get this out of the way: climate change exists and is human caused. There is no debate in the worldwide scientific community on this topic. The "debate" exists in the media and "faux" science that has been created in the past several years to confuse and profit those who have most to lose (well, other than our planet of course). In fact the IPCC has recently revealed it has UNDER estimated the rate and severity of climate change. Please read this fantastic David Suzuki article summarizing some of the underlying reasons behind this confusion.
Why should we care?
I am so thankful for the ocean, the clean air that I breathe and the clean water that I drink. I cannot imagine a world without forests, without the birds, the fish and the wildlife with whom we co-exist. I cannot imagine an Earth where it's unsafe to walk outside or drink the water. I am so thankful for Our Earth, our only Home.
In order to live and prosper we need clean air which necessitates having healthy oceans and forests. Healthy oceans and forests require healthy inhabitants which nourish their home as well as ourselves. We cannot exist on this planet apart from Nature. We require our Earth, all of it, each and every last little bit, to prosper.
Climate Change means that our Earth is warming at an alarming rate. Simply a two degree overall global temperature change will have drastic and dangerous results. IPCC is now predicting a 6 degree rise in temperature by 2050. Real consequences like rising waters, changes in agriculture due to changes in weather patterns, loss of plant life that depends on the delicate balance. Our Earth has evolved to foster life in the Perfect Balance of dynamic interaction between animal, plant and Earth. If two small degrees can alter that pattern, think what six would do.
How does this relate to Yoga?
The basic definition of the word "yoga" means "union". Recognizing our connectedness to others is essential during our practice. In practicing yoga we strive to reconnect without our bodies, our spirit and as a result open ourselves to the realization of awareness. Yoga means being aware, of mindfulness with our world and by becoming still and inward we allow ourselves to connect.
There is no "other". None of us live completely apart or separate from our world. Even by meditation in complete stillness my mind is nourished by the air I breathe, which is an essential relationship created by a physically complex respiratory system that is beautiful in it's fluidity.
As we become knowledgeable on how our actions harm our Earth, our Home, our Sustaining Balance, inaction transforms into small daily acts of tiny hurts. As a Yogini I cannot drive to work, add to the million tons of toxic garbage, pollute the oceans with petrochemical plastics and toxic body products and ignore legislation and believe that I am truly "connecting" with my community.
What can we do?
Life is a process and personal practice has been a process. Small changes work best to lessen our impact and to begin the change that is necessary for our Earth and ourselves to be healthy within. Eventually, as peak oil approaches (or has come and gone) we will need to decrease and halt our dependence on the toxic and harmful oil, including plastics. By walking more, carpooling and investing in electric or extremely efficient, one-car-per-family vehicles. By investing in organic local foods and by composting. By adjusting to alternatives to plastic such as using glass reusable containers.
By acknowledging that Climate Change is happening and having this discussion. Being mindful that throwing that piece of yoga mat wipe wrapper "away" actually means it's contributing to an actual area of our Earth that used to be filled with forest and life and is now filled with toxic, leaching chemicals of here to stay forever garbage.
By recognizing that 40 years from now our children and ourselves will still be here on this Earth... and without change She may not be "here" for us.
I am thankful for having such a beautiful place to call my Home and to be connected to Her as well as all of you, my Eco-Yogi/nis.
article and photo copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com