Thursday 19 January 2012

a green yoga fling

If you don't already know this about me, I LOVE yoga.  It's my special time to completely let go of the outside world and tune in with my mind and body.  I was first introduced to yoga in high school, but it's been over the past six years that I've developed a regular yoga practice and it's really become part of who I am.  Elixr has been my studio since I've lived in Sydney, and right now my favourite yogi is Stella; she provides me with an amazing flowing practice and the perfect balance of exercise, spiritualism and positivity - check her out online at Shiny Yoga, you may become as besotted with her as I am!

On the surface yoga is already a greenie (ok, hippy) activity, wrapped up in the world of so-called "alternative lifestyles".  But even if you don't buy into all of that, you can still feel good knowing that yoga is a green activity. No machinery is involved. No fancy shoes or heart rate monitoring equipment. Just yourself, some comfy clothes and your breath on a yoga mat. It's a very low-carbon, low-materials activity, and I feel it goes hand-in-hand with my environmental lifestyle.

I've endeavoured to make my yoga practice even greener by:

  • Buying an eco-friendly yoga mat from Jade.
    The mat is made of 100% natural rubber (they also have a recycled rubber option), and for every mat purchased Jade plants a tree. They've also started a yoga mat reuse program, diverting used mats from the landfill and providing them to those who can't afford a new mat.  After chatting with Stella about what brands of yoga mat she recommended, and hearing her recommend Jade based on quality, I ordered a purple travel mat, extra length, and couldn't be happier - my practice has been transformed AND it was a green option.
  • Wearing natural and organic fibres as much as possible.
    I'm a huge fan of natural cotton shirts for yoga, and I've also been in love with my lululemon organic cotton leggings for over a year now, and they are still holding strong; I'm so happy to have a pair of organic yoga pants that look as great as I feel about wearing eco-pants (plus lululemon has an amazing corporate social responsibility program, and I love to support companies that support the greater good).

    Sadly lululemon no longer makes organic cotton pants. I asked their corporate headquarters why not, and they said, "We design our athletic wear with the intention of lasting 5 years of athletic wear. We just weren't finding the organic cotton was standing up to that level of use..."  Which raises a really important environmental question - do you always buy the eco-product even if it won't last as long?  Some LCA (life cycle analysis) will definitely be required before I make another yoga pant purchase.
  • Enjoying yoga in the great outdoors
    This requires no electricity whatsoever and definitely helps me connect with nature on a more spiritual level. I've done yoga on the beach and on balconies a number of times, and last night I attended a free lululemon yoga class at Manly beach, hosted by the lovely yogis at the Warringah Mall store.  I wish I had a photo to share, but I only brought myself, my keys and my yoga mat, so I've included a picture of Manly without yogis. 
    It was so wonderful to have a class looking out at the ocean, hearing the crashing waves and being a yoga community with a new group of people . . . they will be there every Wednesday night this summer, and I know I'll be back!


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