We've chatted about ways to greenify our yoga practice from the best eco-mat (rubber!) to sustainable gear. But we never really talked about how we GET to yoga class. Doesn't it feel a little hypocritical, with our local eco-yoga stuff, to drive down to class in our gas guzzling cars?
Unfortunately, walking to yoga in Halifax is a bit tricky- most studios are at least a 40 minute walk (closest) and although a small city, there is a lot of sketchy stuff that happens after dark here. Public transit is also catastrophically terrible, with evening buses that only run on the half hour... unreliably.
So maybe a quick drive isn't that big of a deal?
According to this site, a small car emits 0.59 lbs of carbon per passenger, per mile. Say I go to Breathing Space Halifax studio, 2.17 miles from my apartment, pretty close. Also, that I go to yoga class twice a week for three months... that's 61 lbs of carbon. Add Andrew and we double that number ***NB: I'm not sure WHY they state this...***
Also according to this source, a medium sized car emits approximately 1.1 lbs of carbon per passenger, per mile. For the same studio, same times that means 114lbs of carbon in three months only.
Think about what that means for a regular class of yoga and how much carbon just getting there that would represent. Per class.
A solution?? A bicycle! My wonderful friends Kevin and Heather found me an amazing vintage bicycle that is PURPLE and in perfect condition. I love her (she's already named Veronica btw). All she needs is a basket and a lock, and say goodbye to driving to yoga class.
Don't get me wrong, the thought of driving in this non-bicycle friendly city scares the poo out of me. I have decided, though, that at the many scary intersections we will simply get off our bikes and walk through on the cross walks.
Wouldn't it be amazing if yoga studios offered incentives for those students who chose alternate, greener, means of transportation to enjoy the yoga they offer? Here are some clever options to assure that the services enjoyed at your studio aren't helping the destruction of our already beleaguered air supply:
1. Have bicycle racks in front of your studio! Such a simple solution and I'm sure there would be cheap or used options available from the city. You never know, HRM may have some old or used options that they would sell for cheap.
2. Allow students to bring their bicycles inside the studio if you don't have a bike rack. Make this policy extremely public- send emails and have easily visible posters. I'm not going to ride my bike all the way to the studio and *hope* it will be alright.
3. Offer discounts for those yogis who arrive via green transportation. You could even have a sliding scale- a certain percentage for public transit and higher for bicycle or walking. Since we're all tight for money, the discount could be to encourage yogis to go above and beyond carpooling. It's time we did more.
4. Another option, give out punch cards (or keep track on your computer system) for green transportation- after so many the student gets a free class or a discount.
5. Be PROACTIVE with spreading the word. Have posters, talk to your students about this, many students may not necessarily peruse your website or read your newsletter.
6. Yoga for cyclists and yoga for walkers-runners classes... with the prerequisite that students arrive to class via that mode of transportation.
Although there are challenges, our Yoga practice can help us connect with our planet and our community. (don't I look dorky with my biking helmet?? hehe)
Blessings and Happy Weekend!article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com