As we discuss this word with our students, we explore with them the myriad of opportunities to practice "Respect" in their world. Number one, of course, is self-respect. We talk about how important it is to respect our
bodies by taking care of our health, exercise and nutrition; our minds through education, reading, writing, positive thinking and affirmations; and others, including our parents, siblings, friends, teachers, doctors, and police. We also discuss how we can respect our environment. Compared to 7 years ago when YogaBuddies began, students are much more privy to all the various ways we can Respect the earth. I often find them making statements with their clothing, like one of my students on Wednesday wearing a bright yellow shirt that stated in bold letters "Reduce, Reuse, Respect, Recycle, Restore."
It wasn't until I started practicing yoga 12 years ago that I really began to learn to respect my Self and my body; I also started to take an interest in what it meant to respect the environment. Both of these interests started to shape how I thought about life, how I treated my body, others and the world around me. In yoga classes this is what teachers refer to as taking yoga 'off the mat.' For me, taking yoga 'off the mat' turned into a passion for the environment and has become an intrinsic part of how YogaBuddies does business. I do my best to have YogaBuddies be as 'GREEN' as possible. A few examples include: we use recycled paper; our mats are PVC free and eco-friendly; our CDs and DVDs are made with recycled materials and can be recycled.
My philosophy is similar to a quote on the bottom of the cereal box I eat, "Treat the earth well. It wasn't given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children." -a Kenyan Proverb. So for me it is in YogaBuddies' best interest to think of our earth first, because the earth is where our children and our children's children will grow.
Please check out the Buddies session below for small steps you can take towards practicing respect towards the earth. If you have a great idea, please share it with me!
Love and Respect,