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Yoga, like sustainability, is a practice. It is incremental, ongoing, and there’s no arrival at any particular end. Yoga is a practice of attention to breath and movement, originating in ancient India and associated with meditation. The practice of yoga calls for increased awareness about oneself and one’s connections to others and the world.
Through greater awareness and connection, yoga can empower individuals, and ultimately communities, to learn, discuss and engage in positive change.
In this sense, while yoga can be a divine personal treat, it doesn’t have to be a selfish act. The practice has tremendous ripple effects from several different sources. According to Kelly Quintia, Los Angeles-based yoga and wellness goddess, self-care can increase self-awareness and attention to basic physical things like eating, drinking and sleep, as well as larger things like one’s job and lifestyle. From there, questions about connections may begin to arise, such as the sources of one’s food and the impact of one’s job.
A more sustainable society arises from “creating sustainability in oneself, first through better health, better lifestyle habits and better choices in food and liquids,” says Kelly. “One starts to take that attention to others—and a greater point of view through politics and lifestyle,” says Kelly. She adds that this heightened awareness leads to greater learning and conversation, and that “conversation leads to action.”Several strands of yoga exist, but, in general, the larger goals of the yoga practice include attainment of greater spiritual insight and sustained well-being of the body and mind.
In yoga, through our breath and sweat, we burn out toxicity and stagnation, and we replace it with physical rejuvenation and heightened awareness.“We’re burning away emotional baggage, releasing where stagnation persists, and flushing in areas that haven’t been ‘touched’ before,” says Kelly. Through this process, yoga can help us work through negative emotions and baggage, improving our moods and, often, our interactions with others. Yogis can share with others the sense of balance, health and good vibes they find in class.
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