How To Be An Environmentally Conscious Yoga Teacher
With Climate change becoming a real threat to our way of living, each of us have to do our part to help. From becoming more conscious in our purchases, to doing our research in choosing services that practice sustainability–the need to choose the sustainable option is more imperative with each passing day. The good news is that more companies are changing their ways. Also, new brands are emerging to serve the interests of a widely growing public.
Being a yoga teacher is altruistic in nature, So for most of us, it is only natural that we feel the need to help the planet as much as the people in it. At Momoyoga, we address this by providing you with articles that present you with tips to get started. For instance, we wrote about making our studios more eco-friendly. This time, we will answer these questions, “How do we apply an eco conscious lifestyle as yoga teachers?”
In this article we will show you some tips on how to get started in leading a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle to apply in your work and your personal practice.
Do your research
Everything starts with study. What can I do to help as a yoga teacher? For starters, what do you need to hold a class? This would be the clothes on your back, the mat blocks and straps you carry, and your mode of transportation. While I wouldn’t advise you to make radical changes in your life in order to help the environment, I will suggest minor tweaks. For example, the next time you need to replace your yoga accessories, take the time to look for sustainable items or companies, Manduka has eco-friendly and Oeko-Tex certified items that promise zero toxic emissions and the use of farmed rubber trees in their manufacturing practices. Plus, since their products come with a lifetime guarantee, it’s a one-time purchase. Small changes can make a big difference.
Becoming environmentally conscious isn’t something you transform into at the snap of your fingers. It requires time and growth.
Invest in Sustainable yoga-wear
Since most yoga-wear is stretchy, there is a considerable amount of synthetic fabric woven into the materials. While you can practice with natural fibers, sometimes that fabric can get in the way of your movement. How do we work around this? By investing in yoga clothing that uses recycled material or uses sustainable material. Personally, I find it amazing that we can make activewear with recycled plastic bottles now. In addition, a lot of new companies are adapting to a zero waste policy, making the variety of styles to choose from virtually endless. We added some links if you are interested in some women’s eco-friendly clothing brands or men’s eco-friendly clothing brands.
Look for eco-friendly resorts to launch retreats
Resorts from all over the world are also turning over a new leaf. Opting to work with local produce, livestock, and such to transport us to exotic locations with minimal pollution. Do your research on this one before you negotiate your contracts with an establishment. Look at reviews, the site’s ‘about’ page, contact people that have been to those places and ask about their experience. Each locale has a different policy on environmental issues. From using solar panels to power the resort, offering a full-detox experience with no wifi, coffee, or alcohol to an all-homegrown plan for their menu and the use of sustainable local material for their structures. Choose the ones that speak to your values. Here’s a link to a list of the top 10 retreats by Soultravel Yoga.
Promote your eco-friendly lifestyle and practices
As teachers we set an example whether we are at the start of our careers or seasoned professionals. By sharing our practices on and off the mat we promote a more eco-conscious lifestyle. Again, they don’t have to be big changes but by doing little adjustments that inspire your community to do the same goes a long way. Promote the eco-friendly products to your new yogis, make a review on your favorite cork mat on your blog–word gets out much faster than you think. While there aren’t analytics for the people you have influenced into following your footsteps, it gives us peace of mind that we did our part.
Give back to some local causes
One of the best ways to contribute to the environment that guarantees immediate results is using your yoga classes to promote local causes. In Madrid, I used to contribute my skills into holding yoga classes with cats for adoption. A pet adoption center brings out their cats for the day to interact with the students during the class, in the hopes that some of the animals find their fur-ever home. Some of them do and it was such a heart-warming feeling to be a part of that. Maybe you could offer a yoga class for a beach clean-up drive, so the participants get a nice calming yoga class by the shore after a hard-day’s work. With a little creativity, you can create so many possibilities. Check with local NGO’s for upcoming events and where a yoga class might benefit the cause.
Becoming environmentally conscious isn’t something you transform into at the snap of your fingers. It requires time and growth. Slowly adapting to the lifestyle. Some can do more, while others stop at a certain point–both are amazing as is. Know that every little step you take counts.