April 22 is Earth day. It is an annual event created to celebrate the planet’s environment and raise public awareness about conservation. Today is a day to think about the planet we live in and reflect on our passage through this immensely fascinating and intriguing place.
Often during our asana practices, as teachers or students we repeat or listen to the phrase “remain grounded”, but what does this mean? For me, being grounded is to develop awareness and compassion for ourselves and everything that surrounds us in the present moment. The analogy is to connect to the ground as a tree, rooted firmly to the earth that holds and nurtures it.
A useful way to think of how we are influenced by or can influence our surroundings is to think about the air we breathe. Take a moment to think about how important the breath is to your body and how if it weren’t available, you would not survive for more than five minutes without serious brain damage occurring. Now think about where this air comes from, you will be immediately transported to a tree and a forest. Even though we sometimes forget, we are highly dependable on our mother Earth for our survival.
Despite if you have begun to practice Yoga recently or have been doing it for some years now, you will notice the awareness towards yourself and others will begin to evolve. Through Yoga practice you become more aware of your own doings and how your steps in this Earth create prints.
As yoginis & yogis we have a responsibility to increase wakefulness, through our actions and our words we can choose to be instruments of peace and action towards a more respectful way of life in this beautiful planet. We have a choice every day to show compassion in our actions: when we decide what to eat, where to focus our energy, how we move around, how we speak to others, how we look at them and so many more….
The practice of asana is the training of the body and the mind to remain connected in the present moment with full attentiveness as we move through the different postures. It is true that we invest many hours in the Yoga studio to be able to improve our practice, but the real challenge is to bring our awareness outside the studio and into all the aspects of our life, the real practice is on Earth as our Yoga Mat in correlation with all other beings.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead