It’s raining here in southwestern Pennsylvania as I tap out this post … I find myself pausing … Silently begging Mother Nature to send it all to Australia …
I was so grateful to practice with 8 fellow souls on the ♋ Full Moon on Friday at The Yoga Garden … Donations from the class are going to WIRES Wildlife Rescue in Australia, who’s staff & volunteers are working around the clock to locate / rescue / rehabilitate as many animals as possible amidst historic bushfires. If you’re in America, like me, I’m sure you’ve seen the horrific footage … If you’re in Australia … please stay safe & know us regular folk are doing what we can from afar to support you.
The harm, the violence, is being done … it’s happening … & no matter your thoughts on the reasons behind these historic events … humans’ effect on our environments is never neutral.
There are thousands of humans on the front lines doing the best they can to mitigate the harm being done (support Aussie firefighters & rescue personnel). Our duty as yoga practitioners is to support them as our resources allow.
Why? Because Yoga is not neutral. Yoga is an 8-limbed path of action. And action goes beyond our sticky mats. Yoga philosophy states that while we may not be able to control the results our actions, WE CAN ACT — & Yoga principles would state we are REQUIRED to act — to lessen the harm done toward ourselves, others, & the environment which sustains us.
Where to begin?
In classes I’m privileged to share this month, we are focusing on the yogic principle of ahimsa, or non-harming. Ahimsa is 1 of 5 yamas — outer ethical codes or restraints — in Yoga philosophy as codified by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras (Read a brief overview of the yamas from The Himalayan Institute here). Through asana, pranayama, relaxation & meditation, we practice not being mean to ourselves on our mats. Simple, yet not so easy (for me, anyway).
Beyond the mat, & circling back to the lovely souls who practiced on the full moon at The Yoga Garden, we can consciously #spendourprivilege to do less harm in the world. Whether causes close to home (maybe literally IN our own home) or across the ocean, let’s be honest — the yogis in this country, the United States, can make a HUGE impact by how we allocate our resources.
I’d LOVE for you to share in the comments below what organizations you are supporting … or would like to commit to support. Check out my Instagram post with Australian organizations to support.
Let me know how you’re taking ahimsa off your mat. We share not to highlight ourselves, but to inspire each other & galvanize our will to ACT in non-harming ways for the betterment of our societies & our environment. Let’s do this.
P.S. Our next Community Day at The Yoga Garden is Wednesday, January 15th … My fellow teacher & friend, Kristin Phillips, will be teaching an Intro to Power Yoga class, & has chosen a wonderful organization to support. Your generous donations go to the Crime Victims Center of Fayette County. Join us Wednesday!