At the Sivananda Yoga
Vedanta Center in Los Angeles, our green yoga practice
is based on a vision of the future with less dependence on fossil
fuels. Underpinning our work is an understanding of the core values
of Permaculture - Care of the Earth, Care of People and to Share
equitably - guided by the yamas and niyamas, the ethical and
spiritual laws of Yoga.
the 1980s Swami Vishnudevananda set the
Sivananda ashrams on the path of
sustainability. He foresaw the risks of a
social infrastructure of energy consumption,
agriculture, transportation, and waste
disposal cut off from sustainable practices
and local control. He fitted his house with
solar panels and passive solar heating,
installed greenhouses and found ways to
use energy from the water in the local
stream. He built a log house and a
pyramid from the logs in the forest.
It is now time to look at how we integrate
sustainability and resilience into our
yoga centers in the cities. How do we
re-connect with the earth and make this
harmonious relationship with nature a
vital part of our yoga practice? How do we move
to a more fulfilling lifestyle that is
less costly and less wasteful? How do we
go beyond the quest for comfort and
pleasures and shift to a more simple
life, based on traditional spiritual values? This knowledge
is an integral part of the ancient Vedic
tradition upon which our yoga practice is
Read on for examples of how we engage
Head, Heart and Hands to translate this
ancient wisdom into practice.
a registered Green Yoga Studio, the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center
supports the vision of the Green Yoga Association.
developed in the context of a close relationship with the earth and
cosmos and a profound reverence for animals, plants, soil, water and
air. This reverence towards life is the basis of the Yogic teaching
of ahimsa, or non-violence, non-injury and non-harming.
Today, the viability of
earth's life systems is in danger. If humanity is to survive and
thrive, we must learn to live in balance with nature. Now is
the time to cleanse and heal the earth and to establish a
sustainable relationship with the environment for generations to
incorporate the following commitments into our work with students,
that we will:
Educate ourselves about the needs of the
biosphere as a whole and our local ecosystems in particular.
Cultivate an appreciation for and conscious
connection with the natural environments in which we live,
including animals, plans, soil, water and air.
Include care for the environment
in our discussion of Yogic ethical practices.
Commit ourselves to policies,
products, and actions that minimize environmental harm and
maximize environmental benefit.