Ok, so wo don't actually date back to the Garden of Eden. Hut we were using "botanies" back wlit'll people called lliern plants. Tbday. our Natural Apothecary line is one of the very few brands deemed worthy of certification by the Natural Products Association. You see, we've always thought nature was beautiful. And some tilings never change.
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Could the most radical act to save the planet take place in your heart?
Just two years ago, Yoga Jouma/celebratedEarthDaywithagreen issue and suggestions for lessening your impact on the planet. Today, going green is not a headline, but an integral part of many lives. From reusable grocery bags to hybrid cars, we're making changes. But many great teachers counsel that to heal the planet, we need to do more than recycle—we need to heal our relationship with the earth. Real change comes from considering the earth's plight not just with your mind, but in your heart.
Swami Veda Bharati, who wrote "Sustainable Spirit" (page ip), asks us to consider nature not as some wilderness "out there" that needs protecting, but as trees, streams, and living beings that share the same prana (life force) that enlivens us. Feeling as though all living things are intimately connected to you creates a radically different experience of nature and the way you treat it.
As our Wisdom columnist Sally Kempton (currently on hiatus but returning soon) said at a recent Yoga Journal conference, "As you learn how to connect to the soul of the natural world, you can begin to help the planet show us what needs to be done. Of course, it's vitally important that we act physically and politically, but any truly effective action we take needs to be based on that deep connection to the soul of nature."
I'll admit that the rationalist in me balked when I first heard Swami Veda suggest communicating with the spirits in the trees. It sounded a little crazy to me. But I wonder if it's really any crazier than ignoring the health of the earth while I head out to "enjoy nature"—maybe grabbing lunch to go and driving to the ocean so I can wiggle my toes in the sand. I'm comfortable admitting that I don't know. In fact, it's when I relax into the not knowing that my heart and mind open to new possibilities, including an optimism that concern for the planet might just inspire unimagined solutions that literally make the whole world a better place. Meanwhile, I'm recycling and composting, and also deepening my connection to the natural world. The meditations offered by Kate Vogt (page 124) and by Swami Veda on (page 20) ground us in this connection, making every day an Earth Day.
A video message from Kaitlin can be found online at yogajournal.com/livemag.
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A private student of T.K.V. Desikachar for more than two decades, Kate Holcombe (see "Journey to the Light,"page 70) first camc to yoga in 1991, during a college semester abroad. Along with a small group of students, she found herself studying the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali with Desikachar, who showed the group how the ancient text applied to their own lives. She continued to find deeper meaning with each reading. "That's how the sutras are meant to be studied," she says, "only as much as the hand can hold." Holcombe, the co-founder of the nonprofit Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco, works with clients to bring healing and personal transformation through yoga.
As a dedicated yoga student midway through a teacher training program, Leah Fasten was thrilled, but not too surprised, when asked to photograph Harvard University professor Sat Bir Khalsa (see "Heating Power of Toga, "page 74). Kismet is common in her life, she says: "The photography I need at a certain point in my life tends to find me." Fasten's yoga practice is a balance to her busy life as a commercial photographer and mother to two-year-old Sadie and six-year-old Zach. "Fm completely blown away by the parallels between yoga and photography," says Fasten. "What makes yoga powerful and inspiring is exactly what makes a photography practice work."
Cover model Faith Hunter found yoga in the early 1990s while working on her MBA and dealing with a family crisis. The practice offered a needed reprieve and a sense of spiritual connection. When she joined the nonprofit sector, yoga offset the long hours and constant deadline pressure. After a few years, she decided to teach yoga, and received training at Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in New York City and Charm City Yoga in Baltimore. Today, Hunter co-owns Shakti MindBody Studio in Washington, DC, and runs the studio's teacher training program. She's also a consultant to the Hemophilia Federation of America and is designing its wellness program, which includes yoga.
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