We come together at a yoga studio as a community, to share our love of yoga. How can we take care of each other?
Yoga is about more than mastering postures and having a good stretch however. Yoga is a way of life. In the chapter on practice, Sage Patanjali sets out eight limbs of practice, and the first of these are the yamas, five ways in which we interact with the world. The first of these is ahmisa, which means not doing harm. Non-violence is a common translation, but violence conjures up extremes that we can all to easily deny in our own everyday actions.
Not doing harm is a more literal translation. Whenever we come together in community, this means taking a careful consideration of the impact that our actions have on others. Always asking the question, could whatever I am doing be harming others, and adjusting our actions accordingly.
Here are some ways the studio is trying to do no harm:
we keep the burning of candles and tealights to a minimum - the manufacture of most candles uses unsustainable palm oil and is therefore harming the habitat of many endangered species (soy alternatives also come with environmental problems)
we use Who Gives a Crap as our supplier of toilet paper, paper towel and tissues - the company makes their products as sustainable as possible from recycled paper and uses profits to improve lives in impoverished communities by building toilets
we source hand wash that uses sustainably sourced palm oil
we try not to burn oils and incense as scents can cause some people asthma, throat, eye and nose irritation, and can trigger abreactions in people with PTSD
we provide china re-usable drinking cups rather than throw away cups
we reduce waste by providing towels in main hall rest rooms for hand drying (frequently changed)
we work hard to dispose of waste sustainable - paper towels are placed in green waste, we recycle as much paper and plastic as we can and keep our landfill waste to a minimum
How can you practice ahimsa, do no harm when in community at the studio? Here are some starter suggestions:
place your shoes neatly tucked away so that they are not a tripping hazard
help us keep the waste sorted
don't wear strong perfume when coming to class
think of the welfare of others when putting away equipment