Green Affirmations of the Yamas & Niyamas by Clayton Horton
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the first and second limbs of Astanga Yoga are the Yamas and Niyamas. They are suggestions for virtuous and correct living for spiritual practitioners. The Yamas and Niyamas act as a set of foundational ethical guidelines to reduce suffering and to assist practitioners on the path to self realization and liberation. Affirmations are statements to support the manifestation of your beliefs.
Traditional Yogic teachings, Earth based spirituality and Environmentalism all share a deep respect and reverence for nature. The following affirmations have been created to act as a bridge between the Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali and the present day Environmental movement. These affirmations are for personal inspiration and may be used, edited, copied or redistributed by yoga schools and teachers to encourage intelligent living and responsible planetary stewardship.
- Ahimsa: Non Violence
- I observe the results of my actions so that I may discontinue my tendencies that are hurtful to myself, other human beings and all of creation.
- By eating a plant based diet, I am minimizing global warming and world hunger.
- As I recognize divinity in all of creation, I recognize the sacredness of fragile ecosystems, all beings and myself.
- Satya: Truthfulness
- I observe the reality of the need for widespread environmental education and action to maintain responsible stewardship of planet Earth.
- I choose to pay attention to the media and environmental research so that I will be aware of the Environmental health and condition of our planet.
- No matter how urban or industrial my life is, I recognize my connection and interdependence with nature.
- I honor the wisdom of traditional cultures as well as modern science.
- Asteya: Non Stealing
- I give thanks for the food I eat, the water that I drink and for the blessings that I receive from the material world.
- I support ‘Fair Trade’ agricultural and manufacturing policies and philosophies when trading and working with underdeveloped areas of the world.
- Acknowledging that I consume and receive so much from our Mother Earth, I try to give back something, however I can.
- Brahmacharya: Moderation in all action, Controlling of the senses
- I reprioritize my constant need to gratify my senses with a more reasonable agenda that includes taking care of others and the health of our planet.
- I conserve my energy by not overindulging in work, sex, eating and sleeping so that I can have time and energy to do my Yoga practice and get outside to enjoy nature with friends and family.
- I recognize the environmental impact of a growing world population as well as family / communal resources when planning the size of my family.
- Aparigraha: Non-Posessiveness
- I unsubscribe to the ideology that consumerism, urban sprawl and materialism equals happiness and progress.
- I commit to taking only what I need, whether it be at the buffet line or the shopping mall.
- I recognize that if we all shared a little bit more and were not so greedy with natural resources and financial wealth, there would be less suffering on the planet.
- I support responsible and sustainable methods of forestry, farming, hunting and fishing so that our natural resources and certain species do not become extinct.
- I recognize the impermanence of all things.
- Shaucha, Cleanliness, purity body, mind and environment.
- I choose to maintain and recognize the purity and health of my physical body and mind by eating a healthy and plant based diet.
- I support sustainable methods of organic farming and Earth friendly alternative energy to minimize toxicity of the natural world.
- By smiling and being kind to all of creation, I am helping to break the chain of negativity and destruction on Earth.
- Santosha, Contentment
- I am satisfied by realizing that I can incorporate Earth friendly products and practices in my home, workspace and natural environment one step at a time.
- By not being attached to the results of my vigilant work towards creating a healthier environment, I create a work ethic with less suffering and expectation.
- I do my best to develop myself and my environment and I am satisfied with whatever results arise.
- Tapas: Discipline and intentional suffering for development and purification
- I am disciplined in my efforts and contributions towards eradicating pollution, war, hatred and violence.
- By buying organic goods and refurbishing my home and workplace with earth friendly products, I am helping to co create a healthier and more sustainable world.
- If the Green goods, services and products that I buy are a little more expensive than others, this is my sacrifice as I lead by example. This is a way for me to “cast my vote” for the changes that I wish to see in the world.
- I wake early to do my Yoga practice with the rising Sun so that I may connect with and be in harmony with the natural diurnal rhythms of the Earth and Sun.
- Svadyaya: Studying the Self
- By observing myself, I recognize my patterns and tendencies which are polluting my body, the environment and are contributing to global warming.
- I pay attention to what I buy, consume, eat, and promote in relation to its environmental impact.
- I look inwards, study yogic texts and commune with nature so that someday the nature of reality will be revealed to me.
- Ishvarapranidana: Surrendering of the ego / Surrendering to the internal divine or ultimate reality.
- I surrender the fruits of my labor to the collective whole by donating money, time and energy to environmental organizations and other non governmental groups working for, health, nonviolence and peace on Earth.
- I listen and pay attention to the wisdom, research and advice of others that know more than me in relation to the health of our planet.
- I realize that I may not have all the answers and solutions to creating a healthier and sustainable world, but I am willing to be guided by those who are leading by example.
by Clayton Horton