International Day of Yoga 2019 highlights importance of climate action | 21 June 2019
“We need to be conscious about our climate in whatever we do; even when we do yoga”
In commemoration of International Day of Yoga, officially celebrated on June 21, Ingrid Saurer, yoga instructor at the high commission of India in Seychelles and at Nature Seychelles, spoke to Seychelles NATION to share her opinions about this observance.
Ms Saurer, who also teaches yoga in local schools, was one of the instructors at the mass Yoga, Breathing & Meditation sessions hosted by the high commission of India in Seychelles on June 15 at the Palais des Sports in honour of this day.
International Day of Yoga is celebrated mainly to raise awareness about yoga and its renowned physical, mental and emotional benefits.
The day is observed on June 21 because the sun starts moving from north to south on this day, signifying a transformation period and a better time for conversion.
Ms Saurer points out that International Day of Yoga is one which not only creates awareness about the practice of yoga, but it also creates an opportunity for people to share how wonderful the philosophy is.
“It is important to generate awareness about yoga because it is such a peaceful philosophy and one to help everyone find inner peace.”
The theme for this year’s International Day of Yoga, declared by the United Nations (UN) is ‘Climate Action’.
The main objective of the theme is to raise awareness about climate change through yoga and also to remind people about the importance of a clean environment for practising yoga.
Holding postures and slowing down when practising yoga is said to create harmony between ourselves and nature, hence connecting us to nature and invoking actions towards climate change.
Advocating this theme, Ms Saurer has called upon everyone to remember the impacts of all our choices and actions on the climate.
“We need to be conscious about our climate whatever we do; even when we do yoga. We have to ask ourselves how are we impacting the environment around us? The mats and clothes we use etc. It is important for us to always try to be aware of the world around us.”
Below Ms Saurer suggests five ways that she feels relate to the practice of yoga, and which people can take to contribute towards climate action:
- Healthy eating: This lessens our impact on the environment. Scientists say that food production is responsible for 20% to 30% of total global greenhouse gas emissions (LA Times)
- Be in tune with nature: Appreciate nature and the benefits that it provides us with, so that we can understand why we need to protect it
- Less wastage: Rotting food at landfills produces methane (potent greenhouse gas). About 11% of all greenhouse gas emissions that come from the food system could be reduced if we stop wasting food (World Wildlife)
- Minimalist lifestyle: This is a waste-less concept encouraging people to create less waste, and help the environment through their actions
- Exercise: Increase physical activity such as choosing to walk instead of using the car can help yield climate benefits by reducing emissions
References: Yoga Chapter; Swik Blog