Living yoga: Dharma and activism

Yoga teaches us to take the seat of the observer. Whether a student of yoga or not, this type of awareness helps one live life wholeheartedly. On my most recent trip to Boston, my intentions were to learn something new, take photos of important moments to remember and find ways to connect deeply to my higher self. Travel has always had its way of uplifting my spirits by opening the channels of inspiration to bring to the surface what makes me the happiest.

Joseph Campbell said, “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.”

But how do we know that we are doing this?

In ancient yogic texts, dharma is described as the cosmic order of all things. This is your life’s purpose, path or duty. Standing in conviction and letting our true-self shine can be a daunting task, but this is what it means to be liberated by living from a place of truth. When we decide to live from a place of truth, we are asking questions like “Who am I in this?” “What is my purpose here?” “What in life brings me the most joy?” To put simply, dharma is finding your highest happiness through acts of authentic, wholehearted living.

What would make me happiest is to feel better about the current state of the world and to know that I am making a difference toward the people around me. I want to show up in a way that is kind, courageous and zealous. I want to share my love for the planet and inspire others to do so too.

Here is what I have been doing lately in an effort to follow my bliss and lead a dharmic life.

Environmental Activism — The quote “Live less out of habit and more out of intent” really hits home for me. In yoga, one of the goals is to understand who we are and work on ways to better ourselves through self-inquiry so that we can give back to those around us.

Today’s statistics about plastics in our ocean are frightening. By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in our ocean (pasticpollutioncoalition.org). It is time to shift our consumption habits because this amount of plastic in the ocean is having a significantly negative effect on wildlife and our personal health.

I am a part of a movement to end marine pollution and here is why: I pledge to ban as many plastics from my life as possible. The ocean is a sacred place for healing, community, and inspiration. It is also the home of many beautiful animals who deserve love and protection. In order to make a difference, I have taken an active interest in redesigning my lifestyle by reducing my use of single-use plastics.

Here are four helpful tips found in this month’s issue of LA Yoga Magazine. My hope is that this helps spread awareness of how you too can make a difference- 1) Swap out daily basics like plastic baggies and straws for reusable options. Give your plastic bags a second and third life. 2) Eat plastic-free by using a BPA reusable bottle and taking your own reusable utensils. Bring your own reusable to-go containers when you eat out. 3) Design a life of plastic free body care by supporting companies that make earth-friendly products with plastic-free packaging. 4) Become an advocate. Start sharing what you do with your community to inspire others!

Since becoming more of an activist, I have discovered that others in my own community are also taking steps toward helping mama earth; our beautiful blue planet. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me know that so many people are making lifestyle changes. It gives me hope to know that we as a society can shift our consciousness to a higher one by living with intent. The more we share statistics, trade tips with friends and volunteer, the better our future will look. I don’t know about you, but I can’t bear to see a world worth living in without magnificent, powerful creatures like the whale to be humbled by. We are one!

There are as many paths to truth as there are heartbeats, leaves, fireflies in summer twilight – Danna Faulds