How does yoga contributes to the environmental crisis? At first, it might seem a little farfetched to think that your daily/weekly/irregular movement practice could contribute to worsen the climate crisis we are facing. After all, what does yoga have to do with environmental action?
But truth is, the carbon footprint of your yoga practice and your gym session might be much higher than you think! In fact, several aspects of your yoga practice might be contributing to the environmental crisis in ways you might not be aware of.
Below are 6 series of questions to ask yourself and others next time you go to a yoga class (or to the gym) to find out how yoga can contribute to the environmental crisis.
Use this checklist to find out what to ask for, and discover how to change how you practice for the better.
Studio: Is the power used for lighting, heating and sound coming from renewable energy? Is the studio heated beyond what’s necessary for the country you live in? Is it mostly lit with natural light or led lighting?
TRY THIS: Practice outdoors or at a time of the day where lighting is not required. Ask the studio owner to consider using renewable energy companies such as Bulb.
Mats & Accessories: Is the mat you are using made from natural, sustainably renewable material? Was it bought new?Could it be repurposed at the end of its lifecycle? And if so, how?
TRY THIS: Buy second-hand mat and/or one made out of natural rubber, such as the ones by Scotland-based Bejiali.
Clothing: Are you wearing clothing from man-made or natural fabric? Is it made locally? Did you buy it new or second-hand? Is the brand committed to independently proven/evidenced environmentally-friendly manufacturing?
TRY THIS: Buy second-hand or use what you already have. There is no need to invest in yoga-specific clothing. You only really need to wear comfortable clothing you can freely move in.
Essential oils, Candles and Incense: Are the oils produced from intensive farming harming wildlife? How many miles did they need to travel to get to you? Are the candles made out of paraffin derived from petroleum?
Food & Drink: Are there disposable/single-use food/drinks containers on site? Are the products & food sold produced or made locally or are they coming from abroad? Is your reusable bottle an item you repurposed or did you buy it new?
TRY THIS: Avoid buying items manufactured abroad as they often carry unoffset-able air miles, don’t buy reusable food and drink containers but instead use what you already have.
Travel: How do you travel to the studio/gym? How often? Are there transport alternatives that would make your journey carbon-neutral?
TRY THIS: Walk, cycle, car share or use public transport.
This checklist and suggestions could be applied to many other movement practices. It is not intended to blame in any way, only to raise awareness and educate on making more eco-conscious choices.
For help and support, join us for a weekend of eco-conscious practice with the most eco-aware teachers.