Illustration: The Magazine of Yoga
Could ultra green be ultra yoga?
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST JOANNA HELLER
As Susan says, The life you’re living is the yoga you’re doing.
Okay, so what is the life I’m living? And am I present for it? Really here? True to my values?
Talk about a work in progress! Who knew? All the work I have to do when I thought I was only stretching out on the couch relaxing.
Maybe if it isn’t escape it is work and is always in progress.
I’m supposed to notice all the moments?
This is heavy work – holding all the moments, noticing how I feel. And it is so easy to let the moment slide.
So many great ways to slide out from under stress: television – an easy one, eating – maybe the easiest, escapist reading – that surely says it all. One of my very favorites is the small, specific, no decision, maintenance chores – scrubbing the kitchen counter, doing a laundry.
They do need to be done; and the result is clean clothes or a great looking kitchen counter, a super virtuous feeling, and a really big payoff – allowing a quick escape from acknowledging the anxiety or frustration or fear I felt in my chest before I abruptly ran from it by changing the scenario.
Busy: coping with or copping out?
It is so hard to put the brakes on when distractions suddenly arise and present themselves in a tempting buffet and the environment beckons. Sometimes irresistible …
After all, I do need to get the laundry done or I’ve been wanting to watch that movie for years! But first – is this a clear headed decision or an escape?
I cannot deny that sometimes I know that escape is just what it is.
Then the work is to get back from the jumping off edge and not allow myself to be seduced by my environment – the world at large or the small and intimate. All the things that conspire to propel us out of our moment and off to an escape.
I must be missing an awful lot of stop and breathe moments.
Notice and breathe. Breathe and notice and breathe again.
Killing time, filling time, making up for lost time …
So I am thinking that creating a more peaceful, more aesthetically felicitous environment might help in the staying. An outer place of peace to feel an inner peace.
Of course there is always the chance that I’m just finding a nicer escape. Oy!
An ecology of yoga
Tom Myers talks about a holistic view of our bodies, our fascial system and of continually remodeling our body in response to experience. He talks about maintaining a body consciousness.
So I start thinking about expanding on this with an increased consciousness of surroundings.
Maybe a healthy sustainable environment is also crucial – as important as the peace of a yoga studio or a meditation space but now expanded beyond one room, out into a much larger place.
Can we separate our individual health from the health of our environment? Can we swim in toxins, eat and breathe toxins and still thrive?
Susan says she “became an acolyte not only of connective tissue, but of the dynamic responsiveness of the communicating systems of the body.”
Maybe this is a leap but could ultra green be ultra yoga?
Maybe. Permaculture brings the ecosystem into consciousness and supports its interconnectivity and balance. It limits our disruptions of this balance.
If all the insects were to disappear from the Earth, within fifty years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within fifty years all forms of life would flourish.
A stunning thought.
Greenhaven Cohousing, developing an intentional community – peaceful and aesthetic, pedestrian centered, and modeling permaculture design might be the yoga we can live.
We plan to limit the impermeable surfaces, maximize soil rebuilding by composting, capture rainwater for irrigation of plants, and filter and recirculate water as much as possible. Our plantings will be edibles as much as possible: edible ground covers and shrubs, and some fruit and nut trees that will grow in this temperate climate.
Co-housing: a yoga of living
As for our homes – green is the word.
Homes will be very modest in size, super insulated, built with natural, nontoxic materials chosen for durability, and will be designed to make optimal use of sun for light and heat.
We’re using yoga to try to get ourselves up out of the mud of all the toxicity and noise that we have around us.
- Tom Myers
Exactly our thinking about life in general!
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.