Switch off your light and switch on your social power!

March 19th was the 10th annual celebration of Earth Hour. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is the main organizer of the coordinated effort to raise awareness of climate change by encouraging the world to turn off their lights for an hour. From 8:30 to 9:30 pm people from over 170 countries and across 24 time zones turned off their power.

Small-Earth-HourIt all started in Australia as an effort to draw attention to environmental issues, and has grown into a movement that has broken records with the participation of millions of people. However, Canadian participation has waned in recent years. Per capita, Canadians are one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases, and politically we have largely failed to commit to international efforts to mitigate climate change. With a new government, we have already seen strides in the right direction – scientists have been unmuzzled, ambitious targets have been made at the climate talks in Paris, and there are plans for a new cap and trade program in Ontario. Last year, Toronto Hydro reported a 3.5% reduction in energy use during Earth Hour, which is the equivalent of removing 42,000 homes from the grid. Hopefully this year we were able to see greater participation as a show of Canadian solidarity in the fight against climate change. And, we can apply this attitude outside of Earth Hour and commit ourselves to reducing our carbon footprint.

When we go into a yoga class, we make an effort to practice mindfulness. If we brought this kind of awareness into our everyday lives, then we could tap into the little things that would reduce our impact. As you went around your home turning off lights and appliances, I hope you were able to take a moment to reflect on your consumption and what you can do to create a more environmentally friendly space.

When we turn off our power, we are free from distractions and are better able to connect. That deep connection that we have with nature, our practice, our loved ones, can be enhanced when we are able to focus our attention on that connection. The feeling we get from yoga – the sense of relief and calm – is very similar to the feeling you get when you become present in a natural space. And those kind of moments are what we live for – am I right?!

I hope on this past Earth Day you were able to enjoy our candle-lit classes with Mabel in Richmond Hill or Amanda D. at Bay and Dundas. We all celebrated the earth with our practice that night as we held strong in our mountain pose, found balance in our tree pose, saluted the sun and went with the flow! All the proceeds from the classes went to WWF so thank you all for your generous contribution!