One of the most profound lessons of my practice is the connection between all living things. Yoga is union. It starts with uniting your breath and your body and permeates into the union between all living things. This means that we are not only connected to all other people, but that we are connected to all living things, plants, animals, and our larger environment.
Often, humans find themselves disconnected from nature. We live without regard for our natural environment, using as many natural resources in any way that we need. We take from the earth, without giving back.
Some take it to the other end of the spectrum. Some believe they only way for nature to remain “pure” is for it to be untouched by man. We go to extremes. We fail to see the necessity of having a symbiotic relationship with the earth. Humans and nature were created to co-exist. We must learn to use our innovation to live in harmony with nature, not to distance ourselves from it. We are one with the earth and we must learn to live in harmony, we must find union.
There are many societies and indigenous tribes throughout the course of history and today that sustainably live in harmony with nature. We have much to learn from people of the past and indigenous tribes of the present. We were made to co-exist with our environment and in order to do so, we must honor it. We can do better than we do today. But we must first learn to see the union between you and the trees.
Today, stop and give thanks for the earth. Give thanks for the constant nourishment that it provides. For growing the food that keeps you alive, for producing the air that you breathe. Don’t take this earth for granted. For you breathe in the earth, and your breath it out, you are the natural environment. Honor it as you would honor yourself.
The more I come to know myself through my practice, the more I connect with my environment. Take your practice as an opportunity to see the union in everything and to honor the earth and treat all living things with respect.