What is Green Yoga?

This year, Burlington Yoga Conference is proud to present Green Yoga sessions with Russell and Gillian Comstock, pioneers of the movement. BYC will be donating a portion of proceeds to VT Natural Resources Council to support our Green Yoga theme and environment. What is Green Yoga? "The values statement of the Green Yoga Association below provides a vision of humans, the Earth and the universe as part of an organic whole. While it’s important to adopt environmentally friendly practices and choose green products wherever possible, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. To truly heal the Earth, we must first awaken to our connection to it. When we live with the awareness of our interdependence with the Earth, giving back and living in harmony with the Earth comes naturally and also makes us feel happier, more fulfilled and more alive."  Read More Green Yoga Values Statement The health of our bodies depends on clean air, clean water and clean food. Yoga is grounded in an understanding of this interconnection. Historically, yoga developed in the context of a close relationship with the Earth and cosmos and a profound reverence for animals, plants, soil, water and air. This reverence toward life is the basis of the yogic teaching of ahimsa, or non-violence, non-injury and non-harming. Today, the viability of Earth’s life systems is in danger. If humanity is to survive and thrive, we must learn to live in balance with nature. Now is the time to cleanse and heal the Earth and to establish a sustainable relationship with the environment for generations to come. Therefore, as practitioners of yoga, we will: • Educate ourselves about the needs of the biosphere as a whole and our local ecosystems in particular. • Cultivate an appreciation for and conscious connection with the natural environments in which we live, including animals, plants, soil, water and air. • Include care for the environment in our discussion of yogic ethical practices. • Commit ourselves to policies, products, and actions that minimize environmental harm and maximize environmental benefit. And if we are yoga teachers or centers, we will incorporate these commitments into our work with students. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Green Your Yoga By Samantha Ostergaard via yogachicago.com Samantha Ostergaard is a yoga teacher and Zen Buddhist who lives in San Francisco. "Cultivating a closer relationship with the Earth allows us to deepen our understanding of yoga as union. Here are some simple green practices to transform your feeling of connection to the Earth. Stand like a mountain You can practice tadasana (mountain pose) all the time, whether you are sitting, standing or lying down, simply by being aware of your body and your connection to the Earth. This practice will allow you to cultivate the same quality of awareness that you have in yoga class during every activity. When you bring this awareness to everything you do, your whole life becomes your yoga practice. Chop an onion The Earth nourishes us by bringing forth food. Any time you prepare food, remember that fruits, vegetables and grains are the Earth’s gifts to us. As you hold a fruit or vegetable in your hand, be aware of your body, letting go of your thoughts; then perceive your food fully. Pay attention to its texture, weight, color and aroma while you are washing, cutting and cooking it. Food will come alive to you when you give it your attention. The Earth’s bounty nourishes and sustains you. Place Yourself in the Landscape The body of the Earth is unfolding around you all the time, even when you’re in your car. When you are driving, be aware of your posture and breath, and take note of the changing landscape around you. Notice when a hill curves down into a valley; when you travel over a bridge, look at the water, the shore and the land rising around it. As you drive along a highway, watch the changing shape of the land—this is the Earth supporting you. Connect to the Source Walk barefoot on the Earth or lie on the ground. For just a few moments, let go of your plans for the future and thoughts of the past. Be aware of the physical sensation of your body contacting the ground. Then observe the plants and animals, the wind and the light. Maintain some awareness of your own body as you still your thoughts and attend to what you see. Be fully present to the sentient beings around you, and you will experience your connectedness with everything."
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