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!