>> Thursday, May 13, 2010
Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers, Lisa at Eco Yogini.
Unless you know me well, you may not know that in one of my spells of career ADD, I considered becoming a yoga instructor. In college, I was a yoga fanatic, practicing every day. Sadly nowadays I only get around to it once every couple weeks (and that's only thanks to the kindness of a friend who provides a free yoga class at my church). But I still love the yoga lifestyle and philosophy and think it ties in so well to living green.
Eco Yogini is a fantastic mix of information about practicing yoga and living an eco-friendly life. Since I started following her blog, I've learned both how to solve my slipping problem in downward dog and how to not be afraid of a menstrual cup! She's so honest and open, I'm sure you'll enjoy learning more about her:
Q: Can you give me a little background info about yourself, how long you've been practicing yoga, and why you decided to go green?
A: As a rural Canadian gal, I grew up in a pretty traditional (and loving!) lobster fishing family and I'm currently a Paediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. I've been practicing Yoga for about 5 years now and began my practice while completing my Masters at McGill in Montréal.
I think the eco-kicker was Al Gore's an Inconvenient Truth, as cliché'd as that sounds. Although I now realize he was a bit off in his claims, I do give him props for effectively mobilizing a new generation and causing a stir.
Q: I love how your blog blends yoga, feminism, and living an eco-friendly lifestyle. How do you think those topics are related?
A: Thank you :) Yoga essentially means 'to unite' and my yoga practice inherently strives to increase my connection with what I see as the Divine, myself and the world around me. There are many aspects of yoga, asana (or postures) being only one small part. Ahimsa, meaning 'non-violence' is one of the 8 limbs of Yoga. I just couldn't justify practicing Yoga, moving through that spiritual Journey on a mat made from PVC, surrounded by chemicals and contributing to what our scientific climatologist community is stating as the irreparable damage to our Planet's fragile Eco-System. Our Yoga practice should continue off our mat and I truly cannot separate the practice of connection from being 'green'. I am not yet at a place where I can accept that a person could truly call themselves a 'Yogi-ni' and not be a firm environmentalist. In Yoga everything is connected and we are all part of the Divine. As for feminism, I guess that's just a part of who I am and my spirituality (The Divine Goddess)...
Q: I have to admit that the first time I found your blog, I was doing a search about menstrual cups, trying to figure out how to use the darn things. (You were very helpful!) Why do you choose to "overshare" that type of information on your blog?
That first 'Overshare' almost made me pee my pants, I was so nervous. I guess the real reason why I wrote that post was because I wished someone had told me those things were normal with the DivaCup. I didn't have a lot of friends who were using it, and the instructions weren't very encouraging (call their 1800 line?? lol).
I am a firm believer that women in my generation (20 somethings- which is all I can speak to) retain this antiquated culture of 'menstruation=dirty'. We don't talk about it, we don't share or connect with each other. It's one of the tenants of Feminism- take away a sense of community and connection, isolate women from each other, and you take away their sense of worth, of power.
If 50% of the entire planet's population between the ages of 11 and 55 are menstruating... then I see no reason why we should be shocked to read about it.
Q: At the Conscious Shopper, I divide a lot of my going green tips into Baby Steps (easy), Jogging Stride steps (medium), and Marathon Runner steps (hardest). What are your favorite easy, medium, and hard tips for practicing yoga, and easy, medium, and hard tips for going green?
- Baby Steps- Borrow a DVD for beginners. I like Seane Corn's vinyasa flow DVD. She's practical, gives fantastic instructions and you can try it at home without anyone watching!
- Jogging Strides: Yoga with friends while following along a DVD. This way you're practicing around other people, but they're your friends... so they *shouldn't* judge.
- Marathon Runner: Once you're ready, a real class with an instructor is best. When it comes to type of Yoga, each person will prefer a style that is best for them at that time in their lives (it can change!). No one type of Yoga is better, they are just different. Except Hot Yoga, I would strongly caution new yogis to perhaps try other styles first. ALWAYS listen to what your body tells you. Pain does not equal progress in Yoga. Also, you are never 'more advanced' at yoga if you can achieve ridiculous gumby postures. Yoga isn't about 'advancing' but connecting with yourself. Finally, you do not have to be flexible or strong to practice yoga. It took me two whole years to touch my toes :)
- Baby Steps- I started with switching over all my household cleaning products. Eco-alternatives are so easy to find now, and are affordable! (The switch to vinegar and water took much longer!)
- Jogging Strides: Try walking to more places, take steps to reduce your water usage, compost and recycle.
- Marathon Runner: Cut out plastic from your life (storage, bags, new products), try shopping local and organic for food, search for ways to get your electricity as renewable as possible (solar panels etc), and speak out! I think activism really plays an important part in being a part of Change.
My fav products:
- Eco-Yoga mat- Jade rubber mats... for durability and eco-ness
- Recycleyourmat.com: send in your old yoga mat and they'll recycle or donate them!
- Clothing: Roots, Tonic Wear, Karma and Skyler (Canadian)
- Mat bag: Yogoco, DIY :)
I hope you all enjoyed getting to know Eco Yogini. She is currently challenging herself to practice yoga every day in May to raise funds for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. You can support her by visiting her sponsor page.
You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays. Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook!