“Green” Your Yoga Practice with These 5 Small Changes

If you define yourself as a yogi, you are essentially saying you believe in living a sustainable lifestyle. Your inner voice may be thinking, “Wait, what do you mean? I didn’t sign up for that moral commitment, I just wanted a good sweat!” Well, here’s some news for you: one of the yoga yamas (aka ethical principles of yoga) is ahimsa, which literally means non-harming. Ahimsa encompasses the word non-harming in multiple dimensions — it defines being kind to yourself, being kind to all living things (yep – that’s where the environment comes to play), and practicing non-violence. In general, it means do as little harm possible, so of course, our life-giving mother nature is included in this category, too.

When I see a yogi that doesn’t blink twice when thinking about their trash or conscious consuming, I cringe and want to curl up into a little ball. To make sure that YOU are not that wasteful yogi, follow these tips below, and get on it ASAP because our environment cannot wait any longer! 

1. Bring your own water bottle to class

If this is hard for you to remember, just leave a water bottle in your purse at all times, or get one of those little bottles that can attach to your yoga bag. 

2. Choose an eco-friendly mat

There are SO many mats to choose from. Some well-known favorites include: JadeManduka, and Barefoot Yoga Co.

3. Eco-friendly yoga clothes

…or reuse and recycle your clothes. Yoga is so little about the clothes that hug your body while practicing, which unfortunately gets lost with our Instagram yogi culture. While it can be more difficult to buy vintage/recycled yoga wear, opt for brands that have a strong sustainability mission, such as Prana or Teeki.

4. Adjust your home practice

Are you practicing at home with your air conditioning blasting and all of your lights shining on you? Take a step back and analyze your current home-practice surroundings. Make your practice more sustainable by turning off the air conditioning and rock your sports bra. Or make your nighttime practice more romantic by lighting candles (#selfcare). Personally, I’ve been using these solar lights when I do a nighttime flow, and I leave them on the window sill during the day to recharge.

5. Reduce your carbon emissions

How do you get to your practice? Do you drive there? Or do you drive separately to meet your friend at yoga? Consider walking, running, or riding your bike! I’ve previously gone to a yoga studio while living in the suburbs and my friend and I (who just lived minutes away) would drive separately. Honestly, it was such a waste! After learning more about yoga’s guiding principles and what the practice truly means, I now make more of a conscious effort to carpool. 

Follow these simple steps, and you’re well on your way to being that earth-loving-hippie-yoga girl! 

How do you go green with your yoga practice?

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Detox + Shake it Up For Spring With Flow Yoga

Photo: Mihai Paraschiv

Lilia Karimi
Written by Lilia Karimi
Obsessive entrepreneur, humanitarian, and yogi. Lilia is a graduate of Cornell University and founder of @givingbag - a sustainable hotel amenity. She enjoys sipping chai lattes while thinking about how to make the world a better place. An avid traveler and health fanatic, Lilia has worked in Mexico, Costa Rica, Seattle, and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Follow Lilia on Instagram @lifebylilia.