This year, Friday, April 22 is Earth Day. Around the world, communities come together on this day to promote environmental awareness. Trees are planted, roadsides and shorelines are cleaned up, companies are encouraged to make environmentally conscious changes, and individuals feel inspired to do their part to make the earth a better place for this and future generations.

In yoga philosophy, the first of the five yamas (the first limb of the eight limbs of yoga as set out by the sage Patanjali) is ahimsa. Ahimsa means, simply put, non-harming. To practice ahimsa means to do no harm—to others or to the earth itself. It is one of the most widely sited of the yamas and niyamas.

Yoga philosophy, although rooted in the present moment, takes a far-sighted viewpoint. The rule of karma states that, essentially, what goes around comes around. Treating the earth with respect, as the finite resource that it is, is the logical practice of one who is in tune with yoga practice and philosophy. In yoga, the earth can be celebrated every day.

Dedicating a special day to environmental awareness is a great way to spread the enthusiasm for practices that help make the world a better place. This year, why not take your yoga practice outside to reconnect to nature and remind yourself that this paradise we live in deserves our attention and utmost respect. Take some time to consider how you live your life and whether or not any changes could be made to make your life even more earth friendly. Being in the presence of nature—feet on the ground, breathing in fresh air and feeling the wind and sun on your skin—can help instill a renewed vigor that inspires you to recommit to environmental practices that may have fallen by the wayside.

NOTE: The Yoga Sanctuary will be celebrating Earth Day at the Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center on Friday, April 22nd at 5:30pm. Join us for an outdoor yoga class on the CHEC greens followed by a guided walk through some of CHEC’s trails. All donations collected at this event will go directly to CHEC to help support the work they do in our community! Find out more about CHEC at www.checflorida.org.