SUSTAINABLE LIVING & YOGA

Living in Harmony With The Environment. A Guide to a Greener Lifestyle.

Living in rhythm as one with nature, how the ancient practices of yoga can set the foundation for sustainable living in the modern era.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. an introduction TO Sustainable living

“Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetables myself” - Henry David Thoreau.

Sustainable living may be somewhat of a hot topic in the modern era but for our ancestors living sustainably was a way of life. Generations before us lived by the sunrise and sunset, they aligned their diets with the seasons and harvested crops from their own fields. Human beings lived in harmony with nature, in community, and continual evolution and transformation of all life. This unity is the core of Yogic philosophy, much of how we exist in the modern world is in dysregulation with nature. Is it any wonder then that when we experience dysregulation in our internal systems.

 

With the revolution of science, industry, and the pull of consumerism in merely a few hundred years we have come to live apart from the nature that we are solely created from.

In the modern day, many of us live like worker ants, sedentary under fluorescent bulbs of UV light that trick our brains into believing it’s daytime throughout the night, we no longer walk the lands or tend the fields. We favor concrete jungles, and exotic foods flown thousands of miles to tantalize taste buds. We join the 24/7 rat race of ambition. We survive by ignoring the voice of our nervous system to slow down. Slowing down and taking rest is now viewed as laziness rather than necessary in the flow of life.

 

In today's world, environmental concerns are at an all-time high, and adopting sustainable living practices has become crucial. Sustainable living refers to a lifestyle that minimizes your carbon footprint and promotes ecological balance. From reducing waste to conserving energy, there are various ways to live sustainably.

 

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that prioritizes reducing our impact on the environment and conserving natural resources. It involves making conscious choices that lead to more sustainable practices and a greener lifestyle. Adopting sustainable living practices is not only good for the environment but also beneficial for our health and well-being.

 

By combining sustainable living practices with the mindfulness and self-awareness promoted by yoga, we can create a holistic approach to living those benefits both ourselves and the planet.

2. WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE LIVING?

There are countless benefits to our modern lifestyle, of course. Look at the advancements in science, industry, and human knowledge over the last 200 years. There have been fantastic forward leaps in our standard of living, and yet perhaps we hurtled over maintaining our quality of life.

Sustainable living asks of us a remembrance of connectedness between man and nature, at its core sustainable living is a simple and practical philosophy that encourages people to minimize their use of Earth’s resources by reducing the damage of human and environmental interactions. The hope is to counteract some of the major environmental concerns of the current times such as climate change, water pollution, waste management, deforestation, and so on.

 

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that promotes the idea of living in a way that is environmentally friendly and sustainable for the planet. Is about minimizing our impact on the environment and making choices that have a positive impact on the environment and society, while also improving our quality of life. From the food we eat to the products we use, sustainable living is about making conscious, eco-friendly choices that prioritize the health and well-being of the planet.

 

But it goes beyond this; sustainable living is about creating a sustainable society and economy, where people, the planet, and profits are all considered equally important.

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3. BENEFITS OF A SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE

There are numerous benefits to living sustainably, including:

Environmental Benefits

Living sustainably reduces our impact on the environment. It promotes the conservation of natural resources, reduces pollution, and minimizes waste. Sustainable practices can help to protect biodiversity, prevent deforestation, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping to mitigate climate change.

Economic Benefits

Sustainable living can also have economic benefits. By reducing our reliance on non-renewable resources, we can save money on energy bills, reduce transportation costs, and cut back on unnecessary purchases. Additionally, supporting local communities and businesses can help to create jobs and stimulate the local economy.

Social Benefits

Sustainable living can promote social equality by ensuring that everyone has access to basic needs, such as food, water, and shelter. It can also help to reduce the gap between the rich and poor by promoting fair trade practices and supporting local communities.

4. HOW TO LIVE MORE SUSTAINABLY

Asking yourself where to begin with sustainable living. Oftentimes we fall into the trap of thinking we need to completely revolutionize our way of being and that can feel overwhelming. The place of true beginning is the practice of yoga, of self-inquiry, beginning with true observance of our nature, actions and inactions that do not serve the self or the whole. From this place and in holding compassion we can start to take action to build into a sense of inner harmony.

 

Intention without action is in all honesty a dream. We all may all dream of living on a cleaner, quieter, more balanced planet, but what are we doing about it? Sustainable living requires an attitude of mindfulness around the everyday interaction you have with the world around you. Sustainable living is a balancing act where the needs of humanity are met within the means of the planet's life-supporting systems.

 

Living sustainably means making choices that prioritize the health and well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. It requires a shift in mindset, where we recognize that our actions have consequences and that we have a responsibility to protect the natural world for future generations. Sustainable living involves adopting practices that reduce our carbon footprint and promote social and economic equality.

 

Realistically we will always be impacting the environment in some way, what sustainable living asks us to consider is how detrimental that impact is. Having the ability to see beyond the ego self and recognizing oneself as part of a whole ecosystem is what marries the yogic path with the ethos behind sustainable living.

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5. WHERE TO START?

There are different strategies, adjustments, and actions that can be taken to establish a more sustainable way of being. Part of this journey is developing your own interpretation of adjustments that can be made that suit your ethics, lifestyle, and means. Understanding that no one can be perfectly sustainable sets the base to allow space for sustainable exploration. There are so many changes you can make, so start slow and keep things simple!

 

One guideline you can start to incorporate to living more sustainably is to familiarize yourself with the 5 R’s of zero waste:

  • Refuse what you do not need
  • Reduce what you do need
  • Reuse by repurposing stuff and choosing reusable over disposable
  • Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse
  • Rot (compost) the rest

6. TIPS FOR a SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE

Here are some tweaks of sustainable living that might get you started:

Limit driving

Changing your mode of transportation to something more eco-friendly, like walking to biking, public transport or carpooling offsets carbon emissions and is generally cheaper.

WATER USE

From toilet flushes, to wash cycles, lengthy showers and watering your plants consider where you can cut back from time to time.

Reusable containers

These are a great way to limit single use plastic that ultimately ends up in landfill.

Renewable energY

Explore local companies which offer energy derived from unlimited natural sources such as sun, wind, water, geothermal, and biomass. Those that are clean to use and less impactful to source. These are a great way to limit single use plastic that ultimately ends up in landfill.

Organic & sustainable farming

Organic food that is grown without the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides is not only better for you but is much more sustainable for the environment.

Plant forward diets

Adopting a plant rich diet is an incredibly impactful way to live more sustainably. Not only does a plant rich diet reduce emissions, eating non-processed plant based diets tends to be healthier. Especially when eating the seasonal abundance of where you live.

Home grown food

One way to greatly offset emissions and get back in touch with nature is to start growing your own food. While you don’t need to build a whole farm, you could start with a small veggies patch.

Compost

Turn your food waste into something beneficial for the planet. Start your own compost or opt for compostable and biodegradable trash bags.

Mindful consumption

Consume less stuff more thoughtfully. Adopt a “need over want” mindset.

Sustainable fashion

Start thifting or supporting local companies rather than fast fashion chains.

Shop local

By buying locally, you’re not only supporting your local economy and smaller businesses, while also cutting down on shipping emissions.

Travel sustainably

Support local communities and economies over international chains and choose not to support attractions responsible for animal rights abuses.

Offset your travel emissions

Truly sustainable travel is hard, but one thing you can do to reduce the impact of those giant airplanes is by purchasing offsets from one of the best carbon offsets providers.

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7. YOGA AND SUSTAINABLE LIVING

Yoga is about mindfulness, self-awareness, and an appreciation for the natural world. By integrating sustainable living practices into our yoga practice, we can cultivate a deeper understanding of the impact our actions have on the planet and work towards creating a more sustainable future.

 

There are many ways that yoga can be used to promote sustainable living. For example, practicing yoga outdoors can help us connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of the natural world. This can inspire us to make eco-friendly choices in our daily lives, such as reducing waste or conserving water. Similarly, practicing yoga can help us cultivate mindfulness and awareness of the impact our actions have on the planet. By practicing yoga regularly, we can become more conscious of the choices we make and work towards living a more sustainable lifestyle.

8. TIPS ON how to live SUSTAINABLY with Yoga

Practice yoga OUTDOORS regularly.

Connect with nature and reduce your carbon footprint by practicing yoga outside. Also, practice regularly. The more you practice, the more you become aware of your body and mind, and the more you develop a sense of balance and harmony within yourself and with the environment around you.

Choose eco-friendly yoga products.

Choose mats and yoga products made from natural materials like cork, rubber, or jute instead of synthetic materials. Choosing sustainable and eco-friendly options will help reduce waste and promotes a more sustainable way of living.

Practice mindfulness.

Be present in every moment, notice the world around you and make mindful choices about how you interact with it. By practicing mindfulness, you become more conscious of your impact on the environment and can make more sustainable choices.

Connect and Support Your community.

Through yoga, try to connect with your local community by participating in community events, supporting local businesses, and volunteering for environmental causes. This helps build a sense of community and encourages sustainable living practices.

Eat mindfully.

Make conscious choices about the food you eat, choosing organic, locally sourced options whenever possible. If it’s possible, try a plant-based diet. This is one of the most sustainable diets for both our health and the environment.

Embrace simplicity.

The principles of yoga emphasize living a simple and non-materialistic lifestyle. You can apply this to sustainable living by reducing your consumption and embracing a minimalist lifestyle.

9. SUSTAINABLE LIVING AND YOGA IN ACTION: MYSTICAL YOGA FARM

Sustainable farms like Mystical Yoga Farm are a great way to support sustainable living. These farms prioritize eco-friendly practices, promoting natural, organic farming methods that prioritize the health and well-being of the planet. Sustainable farms like Mystical Yoga Farm often use methods like crop rotation, natural pest control, and composting to minimize their environmental impact and promote a more sustainable approach to farming.

 

Mystical Yoga Farm promotes sustainable living by using permaculture techniques and promoting holistic wellness practices. The farm produces a wide variety of fruits and vegetables using natural, organic farming methods that prioritize the health and well-being of the planet.

 

In addition to promoting sustainable farming practices, Mystical Yoga Farm also offers yoga classes and holistic wellness workshops. These classes and workshops promote mindfulness, self-awareness, and an appreciation for the natural world, encouraging participants to live a more conscious, sustainable lifestyle.

10. SUSTAINABLE LIVING IN SCHOOL YOGA INSTITUTE

Wherever you are on your sustainable living journey know that you’re already moving in the right direction, it’s a mountain, not a marathon. Consider what small changes you can make and know that those will impact the whole. The most important thing to do is start.

 

At School Yoga Institute we are grateful to work with numerous international locations as passionate about sustainability as us. In our travels, we make an effort to offset emissions, during our yoga teacher training we provide students with the knowledge, means, and opportunity to delve into self-inquiry of the impact of their current lifestyle and an introduction to living more sustainably. We work with local centers that promote and uphold our values.

 

We incorporate a rich plant-based local and organic vegetarian diet, we encourage mindful consumption of water and electricity, and the use of reusable bottles. Through the intentionality of our training to bring people back to a mindful way of being students can begin to make changes during the training that they are able to transfer into their everyday life.

11. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)

What is sustainable living?

Sustainable living is a lifestyle that prioritizes reducing waste, conserving natural resources, and promoting the health and well-being of the planet. It involves making conscious choices that lead to more sustainable practices and a greener lifestyle. Adopting sustainable living practices is not only good for the environment but also beneficial for our health and well-being.

WhaT are the benefits of sustainable living?

There are numerous benefits to living sustainably, including environmental benefits like reducing our impact on the environment, promoting the conservation of natural resources, reducing pollution, and minimizing waste. It also offers economic benefits by reducing reliance on non-renewable resources, saving money on energy bills, reducing transportation costs, and supporting local communities and businesses. Additionally, it promotes social equality by ensuring that everyone has access to basic needs, such as food, water, and shelter.

WHAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY OF SUSTAINABLE LIVING?

Sustainable living is a simple and practical philosophy that encourages people to minimize their use of Earth’s resources by reducing the damage of human and environmental interactions. The hope is to counteract some of the major environmental concerns of the current times such as climate change, water pollution, waste management, deforestation, and so on. It is about creating a sustainable society and economy where people, the planet, and profits are all considered equally important.

How can we live more sustainably?

Living sustainably requires mindfulness around everyday interactions with the world. Sustainable living is a balancing act where we make conscious, eco-friendly choices that prioritize the health and well-being of the planet. It is about creating a sustainable society and economy, where people, the planet, and profits are all considered equally important. A good starting point for living sustainably is by adopting a practice of self-inquiry, beginning with true observance of our nature, actions, and inactions that do not serve the self or the whole.

What is the importance of sustainable living?

In today's world, environmental concerns are at an all-time high, and adopting sustainable living practices has become crucial. Sustainable living reduces our impact on the environment and promotes ecological balance. It not only good for the environment but also beneficial for our health and wellbeing. Sustainable living is about creating a sustainable society and economy, where people, the planet, and profits are all considered equally important.

WHAT ARE THE 5 R'S OF ZERO WASTE?

The 5 R's of zero waste are: Refuse what you do not need, reduce what you do need, Reuse by repurposing stuff and choosing reusable over disposable, Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse, and Rot (compost) the rest.

What are some tips for sustainable living?

Some tips for sustainable living include limiting driving and using eco-friendly modes of transportation, conserving water, using reusable containers, exploring renewable energy sources, practicing organic and sustainable farming, adopting a plant-forward diet, growing your own food, composting, consuming less, shopping locally and sustainably, and offsetting your travel emissions.

Is it expensive to live sustainably?

Living sustainably can save you money in the long run. For example, using energy-efficient appliances and installing insulation can reduce your utility bills.

Can I make a difference by living sustainably?

Some tips for sustainable living include limiting driving and using eco-friendly modes of transportation, conserving water, using reusable containers, exploring renewable energy sources, practicing organic and sustainable farming, adopting a plant-forward diet, growing your own food, composting, consuming less, shopping locally and sustainably, and offsetting your travel emissions.

How can yoga promote sustainable living?

Yoga can promote sustainable living by helping practitioners cultivate mindfulness, self-awareness, and an appreciation for the natural world. By practicing yoga outdoors, choosing eco-friendly yoga products, practicing mindfulness, connecting, supporting the local community, and eating mindfully, one can live sustainably with yoga.

If you’d like to start exploring how you can live and be in more harmony with the natural world take a look into our regenerative living course. Where powerful and renowned instructors will share their lived wisdom of creating a sustainable life.

Have more questions about Sustainable Living or any of our YTTs? We're here to help!

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