As featured on YogaMagazine.com
Each day we walk her paths, drink her waters, cool off in her shade and are warmed by the heat she retains from the sun. We depend on her for shelter and are blessed by her patient, forgiving ways. She nurtures us, cares for us, and provides for us. She is our Mother Earth.
Recognizing the role she plays in keeping us healthy and alive is essential. Without a healthy planet none of us can thrive.
At the heart of yoga lies a deep respect for all living beings, including Mother Earth.
Showing our appreciation for Mother Earth is something we can do everyday and it’s easy. It simply comes down to making healthy choices—including how we eat.
Enjoy a yoga diet
Based on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, healthy fats and oils, and a moderate amount of dairy, a vegetarian yoga diet is one of the most powerful ways you can make a difference.
Using a small fraction of the amount of water, land, and fuel that it takes to raise animals for meat, choosing vegetarian foods makes the best use of our world’s precious resources. Factory farms, where animals are raised for meat, are one of the biggest polluters of our waterways and air.
Simply by eating a vegetarian yoga diet, you are doing more to protect Mother Earth than by any other choice you make.
Eating vegetarian is joyful and delicious. Here is a tried and true (and tasty) recipe from my Favorite Soups book: Vegetarian Chicken Noodle Soup
Overflowing with carrots, zucchini, kale, lettuce, and fruits and veggies galore, more and more stores, even big supermarket chains, offer an organic produce section these days.
An organic label signifies produce grown without chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Rendering the soil less fertile, chemical pesticides and fertilizers introduce toxins into the water and air, which are ingested by animals who live off that food chain, and ultimately by us when we eat them in our food, drink them in our water, and breath them in.
If you visit your local farmers’ market, some farmers, although they may not have the organic certification, are growing produce naturally. Talk with them, find out what they use, and choose accordingly. If they are genuinely trying to grow their crops naturally, they will be eager to talk with you about their farming practices.
Consider supporting local farmers who use natural growing methods, either at your farmers market nearby, or through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program). CSA’s often offer boxes of produce you can count on, that you can pick up at a central location, or be delivered right to your door.
Grow your own!
Although many of us are too busy to grow most of our own food, even growing a few things in the back yard helps us connect to Mother Earth. It’s especially nice for kids. It helps them learn where their food comes from and gives them a respect for the work it takes to grow what they see at the grocery store. And children love learning new things and being given responsibility.
If you don’t have a yard, keep it small. A few herbs, like parsley, basil, and oregano, in a window pot or small pots on your windowsill, are great to have around for cooking. Scale your projects according to the time and space you have available, and make it fun. Getting in the dirt and gardening are also great ways to relieve stress!