Earth Day & Yoga: 8 Great (small) Changes You Can Make
EarthDay.org works around the world to drive meaningful action and this year Earth Day will be celebrated on Thursday 22nd April. Although climate action is a key issue, they also strive to improve science and education, people and communities, conservation and restoration, and plastic and pollution. The theme for 2021 is Restore our Earth.
Be a part of the change
Looking after planet Earth is in everyone’s interests, as we are all accountable for our own actions and choices. There’s also a powerful connection between yoga and earth, the most stable of the five elements. When the root chakra (Muladhara) is aligned, you will be centred, grounded, safe, and happy in your own body. The Muladhara is associated with the colour red and is located at the base of the spine.
Modern life can break our connection with earth, for example through excessive screen time, wearing shoes instead of feeling the ground with our bare toes, and spending time cooped up indoors. The earth contains negatively charged particles essential for well-being, as opposed to positively charged ions found in electronic devices. If we lose sight of our interconnected role with nature and earth, we can become egotistical, focusing on our own needs too much. Specific yoga poses and opening of the root chakra help us regain the sense of being grounded and earthed. Emma’s Rise & Flow class on Earth Day will focus on this, so don’t miss it (or make sure you catch it on demand).
8 great ways yogis can help restore Earth
In anticipation of Earth Day itself, here are 8 yoga-related ideas for small lifestyle changes that can help make a BIG difference:
1. Avoid single use plastic bottles
Many yogis already bring a reusable water bottle to the studio which is fab. Stainless steel bottles last for years, are much more effective at keeping your water cool in the hot room, and the various colours and designs are awesome too
2. Reduce shower time
Take a shorter post-yoga shower to save water and the associated heating! Even jumping out two minutes earlier can cut your water use by 10 gallons. You may want to research a water-saving shower head for home that reduces water use by around 50% whilst still providing a powerful shower
3. Review how you get from A to B
Can you walk, cycle, jog or car share (safely) to the studio? Reducing car usage is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and also gets you out and about in nature – calculate your carbon footprint here
4 Buy goods made from recycled materials
Make your next yoga towel one that’s been manufactured with the planet in mind. Every towel from Yoga Bum is made from 8 recycled bottles (85% recycled materials) which provides super absorbency and grip for all those sweaty downward dogs!
5. No plastic bags for your kit
If you change at the club, do you pack your damp yoga kit into a plastic bag and then chuck the plastic once home? Why not invest in a small washable bag which can be reused. Some gym bags have a removable inner carrier for this purpose. At HYC we well wet bags in a range of colour with a water proof inner lining to keep your sweaty clothes contained until you get home!
6. Quality over cost
Consider choosing quality activewear made from sustainable, ethical and ecofriendly materials (such as bamboo) rather than ‘fast fashion’. Although it may cost more, it will last longer and provides a fairer deal for people and communities making them.
7. Recycle old gym kit
Binning unwanted or old sports kit (including trainers) just adds to landfill. Depending on the condition, you could donate to a charity shop, advertise on a preloved website or pop in a textile recycling bin. If you’re ‘keen to be green’, Sweaty Betty and SOEX recycle or rehome old leggings (any brand) brought into their stores and will give you a £10 voucher in return.
8. Eat more plants!
Introduce Meatless Monday! Your food choices affect the planet – try this foodprint calculator to find out more. Opting for more plant-based meal is a sustainable choice (and pretty tasty, we say!) and the good news is it doesn’t have to be a Monday
What are we doing at HYC to help?
At Hot Yoga Club we are playing our part too. We are currently looking at initiatives such as reusable cloths for wiping down mat areas, air purifying plants, more recycling bins and natural cleaning products.
If you have any ideas, we’d love to hear from you so drop us an email to [email protected].
Come and celebrate Earth Day with us Thursday 22nd April with a live Rise & Flow class at 7.30am that will focus on grounding poses to help you reconnect with earth.