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yoga+ Theme: July 2018

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July Theme of the Month: Taking Action

by Ria Tirazona

In September 2017, a picture of a seahorse with its tail wrapped around a cotton bud went viral on social media.  Not long after, stories about whales and other sea creatures with bellies full of garbage emerged. Discussions arose about the state of our environment and the enormity of the problem of waste disposal. Countless comments were made about who is to blame and who should take responsibility for the disastrous impact of many of our modern conveniences.

On the upside, these stories and photos have inspired many to become more mindful about their daily activities.  Look around you and you may notice more and more people bringing their own cloth bags to the market. Others have begun replacing plastic straws and other single-use items with reusable ones.  We may feel at times that these small steps do not count for much. But it is precisely these that make a world of difference. Unless we all start individually taking action, a collective outcome will not be achieved.

In our yoga practice, we often start out with setting an intention. It serves to guide us or focus our efforts as we move through the practice. At times, we may lose that connection to our intention, and we end up just going through the motions. However, when we pause to reconnect to the breath, the mind settles back to the intention, and we are reminded to move with a clear purpose.

An intention without conscious action is very much like wishful thinking. Unless we start taking action, our intentions will remain just a thought or an idea. If we want things to change, we cannot just keep wishing for it to happen. We need to do something, and we need to take responsibility for our choices. If we want to clean up our environment, we cannot keep on limiting ourselves to just bringing an eco bag to the grocery. We can challenge ourselves by doing other things. We can choose less packaging whenever possible. When unable to find alternatives to plastic wrappings, we can make them into eco bricks. We can take the extra time and effort to send things to a recycling center.

Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not”. Today, we invite you to think about what you care about. Let this inspire you to set an intention and to take action. Through this, everything is bound to get better.

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