Practicing yoga and believing the philosophy behind it is great for the environment. I personally practice yoga daily and find that I not only feel more connected with myself, but I also feel deeply connected with my surroundings. Yoga teaches patience, discipline, and respect for all things. It gives people a positive outlook on life and stresses the importance of taking care of the self and the one’s surroundings.
The main connection that is often articulated between yoga and environmentalism is based on the yogic principle of ahimsa, or non-violence. This principle used as the basis for vegetarianism and other examples of environmental awareness. A quote attributed to Ghandi highlights this connection between violence and destruction of the natural world: “We cannot have an ecological movement designed to prevent violence against nature, unless the principle of non-violence becomes central to the ethos of human culture.”
The Yoga Sutras give many indications that Patanjali’s followers were interested in environmental stewardship, which includes self-stewardship. A good quote from the popular yogi BKS Iyengar states “The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.” Desikashar said “Yoga exists in the world because everything is linked.” Therefore, if you’re a believer in yogic philosophy, you might realize that you cannot preserve only yourself, while harming others or the earth. All things are one, according to this philosophy, so caring for the earth is an integral part of self-preservation.
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