Patanjali, known as the father of yoga, proposed a “code of conduct” to name it some way, for those in the pursuit of spiritual growth. This system is known as the Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, and the first two limbs are called: the Yamas and Niyamas. Basically, they are guidelines that outline a way of life, which leads to spiritual progress for every individual.
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written almost two thousand years ago, yoga is explained as having eight “limbs” or steps (Ashtanga means eight limbs in Sanskrit). The physical practice (asana) is actually the third limb. The first two are the Yamas and Niyamas – ethical and personal guidelines for living. The real purpose of Yoga is inner and outer sustainability.
Can practicing yoga help to make the world a better place? It is well known that yoga is founded upon principles that promote awareness of one’s sense of connection, inborn unity, and interdependence with all things. Clearly these central tenets convey innately ecological consciousness through the practice of yoga? And perhaps more importantly, can yoga inspire conscious, peaceful, environmental stewardship for the betterment of society and the Earth?
People who start to practice yoga more often also making other healthy decisions in their lives, whether it’s paying more attention to the food we eat or changing their lifestyle to accommodate healthier activities.
Yoga makes you more sensitive to the world. Through this realization of shared energy and common life force, we learn to respect other living beings and understand that every animal has equal rights to live on this planet.
If we can open our minds to the originally intended purpose of yoga, in addition to the physical, emotional, and mental health that it brings to our lives, then there is hope for allowing this practice to encourage environmental sustainability. Yoga provides us with a set of guidelines and tools to help us deal with ourselves and with the world around us.
It provides a framework for managing our inner needs and desires, and when applied to communities and societies, can be a toolkit for sustainable living and global change. We believe in practically applying the principles of yoga on an individual level can lead to large-scale change in our relationship with our planet.
Discover Yoga to achieve good health and sustainability.
The essence of yoga is balance, and that means not only balance in our bodies or our emotional lives, but also balance in our relationship to the world. Yoga’s core principles can motivate you to take meaningful actions that are good for the planet and also appropriate for you, whatever your circumstances. And while your yoga practice is deepening your commitment to living green, it can also help you to cope with the anxiety that the state of our world can provoke.
Exploring Yoga as a Holistic Lifestyle for Sustainable Human and Environmental Health- A Research
In a research conducted at University of Illinois at Springfield, it was found that Yoga was associated with adopting a greater number of other physical activities and general/hatha, ashtanga, and yoga therapy styles were associated with adopting a greater number of healthy and sustainable lifestyle and dietary behaviors.
Medical conditions that yoga was used to treat and quality of life were perceived to be improved as a result of yoga practice. Results of this study confirm previous research findings that demonstrate numerous positive health outcomes from yoga practice.