No, I’m not yelling at you. YEA stands for Yoga Energy Activism, Shiva Rea’s seva (selfless service) project for the year and the title of one of the classes I took a couple weekends ago at the Yoga Journal Conference in San Francisco. The idea is for you to do as much as you can, within reason, to create a more positive energy exchange in the world rather than negative. We discussed the little things such as using a refillable water bottle, making an effort to waste less, depending less on fossil fuels, to the bigger things such as how you can influence those around you in your community, work, and family to have a more positive relationship with our planet. Some interesting statistics she shared which you can google if you’d like to read up on:
- 20% of the worlds population doesn’t have access to safe drinking water.
- The world will run out of some fossil fuels in the next 20-50 years. Yes, that’s in our lifetimes.
On my way to buy lunch during the conference I noticed a few homeless people near the hotel. I wondered, “Do the yogis who are attending the conference take care of them more than they would usually get taken care of?” As I was eating a yummy falafel wrap and fending off aggressive, hungry pigeons, I heard Shiva’s voice, “Feed those who need fed.” I realized as I sat there eating how I’ve always felt uncomfortable giving money to homeless people. I’d rather give them food, but I never actually do that either. I didn’t have a real reason for this except I don’t see many homeless people in my daily cycling commute, and it’s never super convenient. I was surprised by a feeling of fear and the ease with which I ignored these people I could easily help. Sure, there was that one crazy guy on the bus that one time like 18 years ago, but I’ve never been hurt by a homeless person, nor have I heard of any of my friends being physically hurt either. So, rather than spend all my extra cash on new yoga duds or books like I usually do at the conference, I bought some falafels for the homeless folk. I love those darn falafel pitas, why not share the love. It was a breakthrough that I hope to continue in the future.
I hope you can find a way to be a little more of an Energy Activist in your life. Just a baby step somewhere. I have tried to stop using so many baggies in my lunch box, printing less recipes that just go to that folder of recipes I never end up making, and am encouraging my colleagues to donate to terra pass to supplement their co2 footprint.
I also took a Hip Opening class with Aadil Palkivala of Yoga Centers Bellvue, one of my first yoga teachers ever. It was great! We spent two hours doing six postures. He focused on Reclining Big Toe Pose, one of my favorite stretches as it’s accessible to everyone, and always makes my creaky knees and hips feel better. It stretches the hips, thighs, hamstrings, groins, and calves, strengthens the knees, improves digestion, relieves backache, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort, and is therapeutic for high blood pressure, flat feet, and infertility. I am going to try to do it (and some of it’s variations) daily for a while. Free the hips people, free the hips!Â I read a random statistic that 80% of knee problems originate in tight hips.