The practice and philosophy of Yoga has always been intimately connected to the knowledge of synching the body with nature’s elements and elemental forces. It is time for us to realize that the prana inherent in the elements of the Sun, water, Earth, and air is being depleted and poisoned at devastating levels. It is time for us to take responsibility for our actions and wake up from the inertia that is preventing positive change. Yoga Energy Activism is a means to engage in this activism.
The impacts of our energy future have no borders. We have seen this in the events of the past year, from the Gulf BP oil spill to the recent catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. Sadly, these accidents have all affected the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.
The statistics related to the state of the world are alarming. It predicted that current oil reserves will be exhausted between 2025 and 2040. Only 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh water and of that only 1% of that is drinkable—and available to the 20% of the world’s population that has access to clean water. Waste incineration accounts for more than 30% of current CO2 emissions. Less than 3% of manufactured plastics are made of recyclable plastics or get recycled. And we waste more energy than we use; according to GOOD Magazine’s 2011 energy issue, we waste 54.5 quadrillion BTUs annually while we use 40 quadrillion BTUs.
The good news is that it would only take .02% of the energy emitted from the Sun to supply the entire world’s power. In China, plans are in the works to generate 40% of the country’s power from solar energy by 2020 not for the green benefits, but because solar power is cost-effective. We have access to an abundance of natural renewable energy, but we choose and are dependent on toxic, non-renewable energy sources both as a lifestyle and often as an inner state.
This year on Shivaratri, a group of more than three hundred sadhus and sadhvis (along with thousands of others who reportedly joined them) began a 40-day march to New Delhi to demand to speak with the Prime Minister’s office about the polluted and dying Yamuna River. Their commitment is an inspiration.
We must transition from using toxic fossil fuels to renewable energy sources such as solar power. If every American unplugged everything except their refrigerator for one day, the energy saved would be enough to power a laptop for a year. Add in water-saving and zero waste practices and we would all see the positive impact of a day’s worth of energy conservation. Combined together, every person’s reduced carbon footprint would have a huge impact.
I invite you to join Yoga Energy Activism (YEA). In partnership with Global Green USA and LA Yoga Magazine, we will come together on a seasonal ritual cycle and commit to transforming our inner and outer sources of fuel away from toxic and limited resources and toward healthy and renewable options.
Taking the time to unplug completely for a few hours or an entire day can help us to adjust our nervous systems’ relationships with our surrounding electronic equipment. Making the commitment for energy regeneration retreats can be healing days during which we live in tune with nature’s rhythms through our actions from food preparation to sleeping and waking with the Sun.
Please help us spread the word and ask your local studios to sign up for the Energy Regeneration Retreat at: yogaenergyactivism.com. Resources are available on the website to help you inspire your Yoga community to be part of the 1,008 – 10,008 participants working together towards a sustainable future on Earth Day.
Spring is the time for waking up and aligning with the positive energy renewal of life. Unplug, Root in. Rise up.
Shiva Rea is a shaktidasi—servant of the life-force. She is the dedicated founder of Prana Flow—Energetic Vinyasa and Samudra Global School for Living Yoga offering pilgrimage and yogadventure retreats, teacher trainings, and online programs in collaboration with teachers, artists, and activists around the world: pranaflowyoga.com.