Practicing yoga isnt of itself a green activity but doing poses to open and express the fourth chakra is using green. Green is the color of the fourth chakra that reflects the balance between receiving and giving. It represents the body’s center, its heart. It is a color of inspiration, of beginnings and creativity, love, nature, and change. The negative emotions of fear, envy, and jealousy are part of the fourth chakra when out of balance. Opening the heart chakra includes working with green stones such as jade, peridot, emerald, malachite, and cats eye.
What is Green?
Its meaning has changed over time to the current popular usage of “going green” in environment and life. Products and living in a sustainable way are termed “living green.” This implies using natural or organic products in a way not to over scour the earth’s resources for future generations. Green communities are those that conserve the earth’s bounties via energy saving techniques such as solar power and lighting while decreasing carbon footprints. Ecology associates verdancy with healthy environments. A healthy park is verdant, green. It is not coincidental that the center of the body’s chalkra is green.
Yoga Gone Green
Yoga’s popularity in the West has increased proportionately to the concept of going green, being natural, and diminishing carbon footprints. Yoga’s green inspired style is reflected in its ambiance of bamboo flooring, natural scents from candles or essential oils. Clothing is cotton or hemp, made from organic material. Mats can be natural rubber, biodegradable, or made from recycled materials. The words “eco,” “natural,” and “organic” abound in yoga studios. Fans recycle air and warm weather air is introduced into the room via open doors and windows. Feet are bare, natural.
The Business of Yoga is also Green, Flush with Cash
Yoga is also a big business taking in millions a year in the West. Whether its selling products or clothing to be green or keeping a ventilated studio going, money is changing hands. There are many “non-green” aspects to the business of yoga, many unavoidable, but need to be recognised as part of the business activity and living in a western society.
- Figurines made from factories or air flown from foreign places and leather straps of jewelry are displayed for sale at the front of the studio.
- Hot yoga seldom uses complete solar power to equal the warmth and low humidity of India but needs radiant panels, electricity or gas heat to reach the requisite 105 degrees and appropriate 40% humidty.
- Showers of running water are readily available and utilized.
- Cubbies for leather shoes grace the entrance of many studios.
- Leather wallets and handbags are opened to pay for the classes.
- Students arrive for practice in their cars, chat on cell phones, and display tattoos made of various chemical and organic dyes.
- The various scents created in far away places to avoid using chemicals must be shipped to the buyer somehow.
The healthiest practice is using as few resources as possible, or being mindful of products used. The yoga diet, whether meat or vegan, requires food flown, killed, created, or boxed, somewhere and brought to the consumer.
Expressing the Green Chakra in Yoga
Practicing yoga isnt a green activity. Flying to exotic locales to practice yoga, for example to Bali, defeats the energy saving side of a natural practice environment. Doing poses to open and express the fourth chakra is using green. The fourth chakra and finding the balance between over-accumulation and waste, sharing from the heart; that is green yoga. Use no more than is necessary without allowing self-righteousness to enter the practice.
Opening the heart emotionally, physically stretching the arms up or out to the sides, opening the chest, bending back or back bends such as camel pose (see figure 3), all utilize the fourth chakra.
Keep balanced and aware, modifying the chakras as needed with complimentary stones and colors. Green energy is now an internal and external practice.