I once asked my dad, “What is the one thing you hope to pass on to your children?” My dad paused for a moment and then confidently answered, “To recycle and take care of the earth.” My dad is a smart man and I have tried to honor his wish by putting excess paper, cans, bottles, etc. into their proper bins and “do my part.”
It is common to find me hiking in the woods with Luna, my Siberian Husky. One particular day, I decided to approach my hike with a new perspective. I was going to be as curious and explorative about everything during my excursion as my dog was. I hiked slower and analyzed the textures, colors, smells, feelings, etc. all around me as I passed through the trees.
While observing a quiet little patch of what would appear to the average hiker as dirt – I saw something amazing. The brown colors were brighter than any other dirt I had ever seen, little twigs lay gently across the ground, a leaf that was softly disintegrating rested kindly, small collections of rocks and pebbles presented themselves peacefully and a tiny, bright green plant was blossoming from the earth with tremendous energy.
Taking the time to appreciate this little ecosystem that was a part of so much more, I thought of my dad’s wish. In front of me the forest floor was recycling its energy. The plants and materials where life and color had started to escape were setting the foundation for new vitality. I asked myself, “Could it be possible to extend my act of recycling to include sending good energy into the world with the hope that it will breathe positivity into others?” A lightbulb went off and I had never thought of recycling in this way before.
Practicing yoga with others can be particularly powerful. When in the studio and I grow tired, I draw energy from others. When those around me start to wobble in a balance sequence or become fatigued from one too many Chaturangas – I send them love and strength. The power behind the practice is that we are recycling energy. We are drawing in what is needed and expelling what we have room to give to others. When the physical body becomes tired or the mind starts to weaken, absorb the contagious spirit of those around you and channel the little green plant to grow strong. When you have an excess of energy – then share with your community. This transferring of energy will only strengthen your Kula or “yoga community” and surely spill over outside of just the four edges of your mat.
I am appreciative for my dad’s wish and my dog’s curious perspective for they have both taught me to open myself to new thoughts and new ways of giving and receiving. Share your energy with the world, and always, always recycle.