These days, most people act as if nature is something to be exploited: we cut down trees to use the land for animal agriculture, we eat animals and animal products not being aware of the harm it causes both the animals and the environment, we consume plastic because of the perceived convenience it gives us, we buy things excessively thinking we need to accumulate everything from clothes to cars to our sense of security.
It is timely that yoga is now gaining popularity all over the world. Yoga is needed at this time. The word yoga means "to yoke". It is union. It is a practice of remembering that we all belong to each other. It is a practice of introspection, experiencing what it is like to be deep within ourselves. It is a practice of empathy, understanding what it is like to take on the shape of another. When we do asanas, we learn to embody the characteristics of nature by taking on the form of nature for a few minutes at a time. We stand sturdy and strong like a mountain, rooted and uplifted like a tree, loyal and honest like a dog, fearless and intelligent like a crow.
My teacher Sharon Gannon often reminds us that the Earth does not belong to us, we belong to the Earth. And the truth is, nature does not need people; people need nature. It is time that we make space in our lives to love Mother Nature, to show gratitude for all that she provides, and in return to take care of her and protect her and safeguard her interests. It is time we return Mother Nature's love.