Sustainability

Sustainability means a way of life that ensures that all generations of humanity have the opportunity to live a prosperous life - generations now and in future! A lack in sustainability means that humans cannot sustain themselves on this earth in the long run and it comes with all the negative effects we are witnessing right now: A rapid decline in biodiversity, a raise in wealth divides and poverty, pollution and destruction of natural habitat ... As the German author Michael Ende said: We are already fighting the Third World War. Our enemy are future generations. The problem is that they cannot fight back.

 But we are willing to fight for justice for all of humanity and all living creatures - now and in future! That is why sustainability is such an important part of Yoganity. Real sustainability means getting back to the understanding that we are all part of nature. We cannot detach ourselves from it. We ARE nature.

 

You have questions about the entire concept or need some advice for daily matters? Katja is nearly done with her Master in Sustainable Development, so no matter what's your question about sustainable living, we can offer you an answer. Contact us for a consultation.


Why Yoga and Sustainability?

The goal of Yoga is to reunite - that is where the word comes from: Yog, unity. Different interpretations speak about reuniting mind and body or oneself with the universe or everyone with each other. Especially the last aspect points out how important it is to think of others and not only of oneself. We are all one.

 

The first historic text that codified Yoga (Yoga back then being purely mind-related meditation techniques and not physical practice), Patanjali Yoga Sutras, (200 A.D. - 200 B.C.), contains a description of eight steps (or "eight limbs", in Sanskrit "Ashtanga") towards enlightenment. All of these steps are vital and out of the perspective of sustainability especially the first two steps couldn't be more contemporary:

1. Yama (social conduct)

  • truthfulness (of thoughts, speech and actions)
  • non-violence (of thoughts, speech and actions, towards others and oneself)
  • non-stealing (also of immaterial goods like time)
  • a minimalist attitude (literally "non-hording")
  • Brahmacharya - striving towards infinite joy, infinite loving kindness, infinite equanimity and infinite compassion towards all beings

(The last point is mostly interpreted as celibacy. Why that is you can find out during a personal Yoga lesson about Yoga history. :-D)

2. Niyama (personal conduct)

  • hygiene (physical and mental)
  • contentment
  • tapas (austerity practices)
  • self-enquiry
  • surrender to higher forces

These are the first two steps that every Yogi needs to follow if he or she wants to reach his or her higher self. That means sustainability is deeply implemented into yogic believes: Non-stealing includes not stealing resources from developing countries or from future generations, non-violence includes treating every being with respect and harmony, a minimalist attitude ensures that there is enough for everyone and that we don't fall into the trap of blind consumerism.

Following the steps of Patanjali allows us and everyone around us to enjoy life to the fullest and become the best possible versions of ourselves. Yoga, with all its mindfulness and care, is inseparable from sustainability how we understand it today - and already has been for centuries.


To learn more about physical Yoga and the spirituality that we practice click here: