Kat Farrants explains why her plastic free commitment is yoga in action.
This month I’m committing to Plastic Free July. Many of you will know by now that MFML’s mission is about so much more than having lovely long, stretchy hamstrings and a fit, strong body. I really believe that self-enquiry and commitment to live a life of freedom for all, is absolutely what yoga is about. For me, that means living our yoga off the mat is the most important thing. My yoga practice over the years has clearly shown me that everything in the world is connected. And that living my yoga off the mat means taking action. This month that means that for the whole of July I’m committing to refuse to use single use plastic. Which is actually way harder than it seems!
Yoga, connection and our planet
Perhaps at first glance, my eco-ways don’t have much to do with yoga, or yoga philosophy. But for me, my lived experience of yoga, has taught me that we are all connected. It is because of our interconnectedness that care for every person and care for the planet is what is at the heart of yoga. Did you watch Vidya’s class on Ahimsa? It seems to me that non-violence is to be extended to the whole planet. We simply cannot be yogis, dedicated to a life of conscious decisions and finding freedom and unity, when we mindlessly contribute to a throw-away society. Part of this is also about our tapas, our discipline. But it’s also about taking small steps. It’s better to be imperfectly plastic-free but committed. So we continue the journey throughout our lives, than be perfect just for a day .
Discipline is an art
Our culture really extols the easy, the comfortable. But yoga is a discipline. Without discipline and commitment, without committing to go out of our comfort zones and explore the edges there can be no learning, no seeking truth. For me, one really important part of my home practice is practicing the art of discipline. So many folks really struggle with practicing at home because they say that they lack the discipline. Discipline is like any muscle; you need to use it to build it up. We can’t say that ‘I’m not strong enough, or fit enough’, we need to build up to find the strength and fitness.
Discipline is a wonderful characteristic to build, with discipline we have courage in our own convictions, we have trust in ourselves and the decisions we take. We know that we’re the kind of people who when we say we’re going to do something, we really do that thing. We are the kind of people who know that if we commit, that commitment means something. So by going plastic-free, we know that this commitment will take some courage, strength and willpower, but we know that we’re just the kind of person who can pull that off!!
Forgiveness and compassion
But the other yogic virtue we mustn’t forget is that of forgiveness and compassion, especially to ourselves. It can seem that life is just a massive ‘to-do’ list. Adding our eco-credentials is just another thing to feel guilty about when we inevitably, make little slip ups. It really is so important to remember that we can all just do the best we can; and that self-compassion is crucial. It’s better to commit to a life of learning and trying rather than just a day of one hundred percent success. Small steps, as ever, truly are the way to our own health, happiness and sustainability and that of everyone else too.
About Kat Farrants:
Movement for Modern Life’s fabulous founder Kat Farrants lives her yoga. Kat’s own yoga practice informs how she develops MFML. Kat wrote this post using inspiration from the small steps she takes to move into a happier, healthier and more sustainable life. Please do join her on this journey and explore with us your happiest, healthiest, most sustainable life.
Good luck with your plastic free month. It is a great thing to do! I really believe that if we truly live our yoga we have to care for the planet and other people, and the planet desperately needs our help at the moment. I haven’t managed to go plastic free, but working on reducing plastic and carbon footprint. Thanks for the inspiration!