Yoga in Practice: A Healthy Planet

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By Paul Jerard

As a Yoga practitioner, you should be aware of your personal health and that of planet Earth. Why should you care, or take action, for a healthier and cleaner planet? With acid rain, toxic waste, mercury, and PCP’s in our backyards, where do we start the clean up?

What can one Yogi do about the planet’s health? We must all take action together, in order to be truly effective. It should be a concerted action.

Eating for a better environment is a reality. If vegetarians were the majority, this would change our environment and feed all the people of the Earth with grain that is used to fatten livestock.

However, the majority of the world’s population will not be vegetarian any time soon. This will contribute to a rise in the world’s temperature, as forests are cut down for ranchers. All forests serve us as the “world’s lungs.” Tree and plants naturally convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.

Combine this with a sudden increase in fossil fuel emissions, and you have a recipe for increased global warming. The green house effect is a natural way for the Earth to keep itself warm. Green house gases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, naturally hold the heat and energy of the sun within our atmosphere.

The world would be a much colder place without the natural green house effect. Some say without the greenhouse effect, our Earth would be an “ice planet.” However, fossil fuel emissions, and deforestation, may tip the balance and cause a “global warming effect.”

What should a Yogi do? We have to write our legislators now and request action. If we keep quiet, all of our governments will stick with business as usual. Here are a few more actions we can take right now.

Buy or use organic products, when possible. Yes, it is more expensive, but you are sending a message to the agricultural industry that pesticides in your food, and in the food chain, are not acceptable. The world would be healthier without some of the chemicals we manufacture.

Support peaceful environmental activists, as long as they are ethical. Environmentalism is one thing, but violence is quite another. Greenpeace International is the current “front runner” of environmental action. They are not the only group, but this is a good one to start with.

We continue practicing Yoga to improve our own lives, but also that of our neighbors, family, and associates. When we clean up the world, this will make our planet, a more tranquil and healthy place.

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995.

Sponsored by : Yoga - Meditation - Contemplation

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