Today we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. While the Earth Mother awakens from her winter slumber and we step into spring, I wanted to dedicated a playlist to this beautiful planet that we depend on for our survival. She continues to provide and give and we continue to take and take. In my yoga classes I challenge each of us to explore the ways that we might give back and support her. She needs our love, she needs our attention, she needs us to awaken.
Pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have fallen across continents as countries try to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Is this just a fleeting change, or could it lead to longer-lasting falls in emissions? A global pandemic that is claiming people’s lives certainly shouldn’t be seen as a way of bringing about environmental change. It’s far from certain how lasting this dip in emissions will be. When the pandemic eventually subsides, will carbon and pollutant emissions “bounce back” so much that it will be as if this clear-skied interlude never happened? Or could the changes we see today have a more persistent effect?
While geological disasters like earthquakes, volcanoes, rockfalls, landslides and avalanches have stayed more or less constant over the last 20 years, the numbers of climate-related disasters – floods, coastal flooding and storm surge, apocalyptic storms, heat/cold waves, cyclones, drought and wildfires – have dramatically increased. It amazes me how so much of the global population cannot see that we are creating these experiences. Denial and ignorance; people and corporations choosing profit over the planet.
Did you know that rainforests are being destroyed at a pace of 8 million hectares per year. They cover less than 3% of the planet and yet they house more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem. 40% of the destruction is turned into pasture for cattle ranching so we can eat our burgers and 20% is turned into large-scale agriculture to produce things like palm oil so we can eat our Doritos and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Did you know that both the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were drafted on hemp paper? One acre of hemp can produce as much paper as 4 to 10 acres of trees over a 20-year cycle, and hemp stalks only take four months to mature, whereas trees take 20 to 80 years. Converting trees into paper uses large amounts of water, energy, and chemicals and generates vast amounts of air and water pollution. The pulp and paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy, accounting for 4 percent of all the world’s energy use.
As I look at the media headlines over this last year I read articles reporting on the 275 million metric tons of plastic waste generated and floating in our oceans, species after species becoming extinct, while governments and corporations continue to build their pipelines through places like Standing Rock and the 980 km Trans Mountain Pipeline.
It’s not too late for us to turn this all around but each of us has to do our part. As a consumer how much do you know about the companies and corporations you are supporting with your dollars? They will only change if we demand it and we can demand healthy/sustainable practices by not purchasing from those who refuse to embrace and adopt responsible practices. I invite you to be the seeker of your own truth; conduct your own research and ask your own questions. Why don’t we let farmers grow hemp in many parts of the world? Why would we build another pipeline and position ourselves to depend on oil production and products when environmentally friendly and sustainable energy exists? Want to learn some interesting facts about some of the products you love? Google ‘Starbucks and Monsanto’, and ‘Nestle, Cadbury, Hershey, and child labour’. It is hard to make changes when we don’t know what is going on with companies like these but once we discover the truth, we can’t unlearn it. Then change can be made one coffee cup or one chocolate bar at a time.
Covid-19 is not the cure for the planet but isn’t it beautiful in what it has shown us in regards to the significance of nature and the glimpse of hope it is providing to heal the planet. How many of us have taken solace out in nature over these last few weeks as we navigate the chaos? How many of us marveled at the return of nature as we witnessed the dolphins swimming in the canals?
Each of us have to decide for ourselves how we can support the healing of the planet and find a harmonious balance with it. Simple choices like supporting your local farmers and purchasing organic foods can have a lasting impact. This is our chance to make a systemic shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. Will we take it?
These blog articles are inspired by the themed yoga classes that I teach. Being a musician myself and a lover of music, I put together powerful playlists to support my students in their inner reflection. I invite you to have a listen to the samples below to support you in your own inner reflection. If you resonate with any of the songs, please purchase them and support these independent artists.
Sample the Playlist
Support the Artists (links to iTunes)
Lennon & Maisy
Solitudes – Secrets Of The Jungle
Food in the Belly
Big Yellow Taxi
On & On
Fight for Your Mind
Songs for a Dying Planet
Relaxing Sounds of Nature
I believe we need to move the music medicine around the planet to support the awakening that is unfolding within each of us. We need to support these beautiful artists so that they can continue producing music that will lift the vibration of the planet. Please share the blog and if you know of some really great songs/artists that need to be included in future playlists, connect with me. Love & Light my friends…
Shri Ananda is a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher, musician, and spiritual filmmaker creating music and stories to help us awaken to who we really are. Shri is a grounded and joyful yoga teacher who invites you to journey inward. His classes promote self-understanding, intuition, and transformation from the inside-out through mindful movement and breath work. Ananda is known for his themed ‘Gentle Spirit Yoga’ classes – combining gentle yoga with spiritual exploration through music . He is presently instructing at Tandava Yoga in Kelowna, British Columbia and hosts retreats around the world.