Everyday life can be sustainable - We should live in the present but for the future.
‘’What we are today is the result of our actions yesterday.’’
And that's why we should make conscious decisions and purchases in everyday life that will affect not only our future but also the future of the planet. How long do we think before buying something? Is it a spontaneous decision, or are we really thinking if we need the thing? It probably depends on what that thing is, whether it is an existential thing and we don't have much time to think, or it is something that we will use in the long run and we want to let it go through our heads.
Personally, I think that we should look at everything from a long-term perspective, if the given situation allows it. Because it all affects us. It takes us few minutes or seconds to stop and think. If we don´t do these conscious decisions, we keep accumulating things in our flats/houses which we don’t actually need. These things are only a burden for us. We keep making our houses bigger just to store these things.
More things we owe, more of our attention and energy go out. The less time we have for life itself, practice and nature.
For better understanding I will tell you a story (from my teacher) - which will explain what do I mean
Once upon a time there was a yogi teacher (guru) who had five disciples. They wandered together and taught people yoga. One day they arrived in a village. The teacher gave the villagers a lecture on how to practice yoga and how to live a simple everyday life in accordance with the yogic principles. The villagers liked it very much and wanted the teacher to stay with them and continue to teach them.
The teacher explained them that this was not possible because it was his duty to wander and spread this knowledge to others. He thought for a moment and said: but I can leave you one of my students, he lived and traveled with me for almost 10 years, I believe that he can teach you something. The villagers enthusiastically agreed.
The teacher came to one of the students and said: Since you have been studying with me for many years, now is the time for you to start spreading the wisdom of yoga, so I entrust you to stay in this village and educate the villagers. The student replied: Of course Guruji, I am very happy to do so.
The teacher informed the villagers that his disciple agreed and was very happy to stay with them so that he could teach them. The only condition is that he will not live with them in the village, but they must built him a small hut nearby in the woods. The villagers agreed. The teacher said goodbye to the villagers, and when he left, he came to the student once more and said to him: teach as I have taught you, and live a simple life. Be very careful of the traps of prakriti and do not be misled.
The student replied: of course Guruji, as I have lived by your side for 10 years, I will keep doing well and I will live as you have shown me. The teacher left. The villagers built for a yogi small hut in the woods behind the village, he was very happy there. Apart from the hut, which was not even his, the yogi owned only two pieces of white cloth. The fabric served as his garment, he was wearing it around the waist. He also had one bowl where the villagers gave him food and a cup for water. He didn't own anything else.
Every day he came to the village in the morning, spent few hours teaching the villagers. When he was leaving, they gave him food in a bowl, water in a cup, he ate and went to dedicate himself to his practice. It went like this for a while ... everyone was satisfied.
One day yogi woke up in the morning, he put on a white cloth, but found that he had a hole in it. The mouse has bitten a hole in one of the cloths at night. The yogi went to the village and this time he asked for a piece of white cloth in addition to food. The villagers wondered why he need the cloth. The yogi explained to them what had happened to him last night.
Villagers said: of course, such a things can happen and they gave him another piece of cloth. The next day, however, the yogi returned with the same request. Villagers: well, but it can't go on like this, we can't give you a new piece of fabric every day. However, we must solve the problem. The solution to your problem will be the Cat!
So they gave him a cat. Yogi went to the hut, holding a cat in one hand and a bowl of food in another. The next day he went to the village to teach the villagers. After the lecture, he came for food with two bowls. The villagers were surprised and asked, why do you need second bowl? Until now, one was enough for you, did you start to eat more?
The yogi replied, no I just need milk for a cat, she has nothing to eat. The cat solved my problem, caught all the mice from the hut, but now she has nothing to eat. That milk is for her. Villagers: of course, with pleasure. They gave him milk for cat. Next day, the situation repeated. The villagers started thinking, but it won't go on like this, if you need milk every day, you need a cow. The cow will solve your problem.
And so the yogi left the village that day with the cow on the string. Next day he came to teach the villagers again, and when he left, he asked for hay for a cow as well as food for himself, because the cow had nothing to eat. The villagers said: you can sow rice in the field you have by the hut, you will grow rice for yourself and the cow will take care of the grass.
The yogi did so, sowed rice close to his hut, and also built a shelter for a cow. Next few days, when he came to teach the villagers, he was always late and the lessons were shorter. After a few days, the villagers asked what was going on, if he no longer had the motivation to teach them.
The yogi replied: of course I have, that is the reason why I am here, that is my main task, but I do not have enough time to take care of the cow, farm and the fields. The villagers came up with the answer: We know what will solve your problem, we will find you a wife! She will take care of the farm and you can continue teaching us, because that's why you came here!
The yogi agreed. After a few years, Guruji came to visit the Yogi to see how he was doing. He entered the village and asked the villagers where his disciple lives. They answered him, behind the village, close to the forest. Guruji was pleased with what a great place he has chosen in solitude, he is definitely doing well. As he walked, he heard children´s voices greeting him from afar. He entered the land where a small wooden hut stood before. But today it was a farm.
Guruji saw the student, came to him and asked him. What is all this? I told you to watch out for these prakriti traps, now you are a householder and not a yogi! The yogi threw himself at his feet, I'm sorry Guruji, I'm very sorry. The yogi told him the whole story of how it all started innocently with the mouse and grew to the farm.
The yogi fell to his feet, I'm sorry Guruji, I'm very sorry. The yogi told him the whole story of how it all started innocently with the mouse and grew to the farm. Guruji: you don't have to apologize and you don't have to be sorry either. That's how it should be, it's a great lesson for you. At least you can see how easily from a little innocent creature like a mouse all this can happen what you have around now.
Prakriti is very strong and we still have to be careful whether we act in accordance with our convictions or whether it takes us somewhere to completely different places and changes our intentions. With this story, I wanted to point out how few things can make our lives easier. Let those things be few, let them be of good quality, that they may last us for a long time.
And all this just so that we don't have to spend a lot of time shopping and we have more time for LIFE itself! The villagers wanted to solve the yogi's problem, but in reality, they only created more problems for him by giving him more and more things.
Living with these principles we will help both ourselves and nature.
Analogy with a food
Why should we eat well? It is investment in our body, we are what we eat, literally. Every cell of our body if formed from the food we ate. Yes, it costs us more effort to think about how and where to buy food, how to prepare it so that it is beneficial for us and so that we feel good after eating it.
If we give our body the best what we can now, it will pay off in the future. We will not have to deal with something that hurts us and that we need to visit a doctor to replace our spare part (literally). Or think about how many boxes of pills doctor has prescribed us and why it's so expensive... All I have to do is pay a little extra attention to these basic decisions every day and after some years I will see how this energy I invested in my body will be benefiting me.
Same formula we can apply when buying clothes
First of all, there are not many things which, we need to be fine. Maybe this is the thing what long travels and too many relocations thought me. I am always limited by the space in my backpack so I truly need to consider what do I need.
During the travels, especially in poor countries I really started to appreciate ‘’basic things’’ like: source of clean water, food, cooker so that we have a place to cook fresh food, a few pieces of clothes, bed, and little quiet and clean place where I can practice. The more things we have, the more attention we must pay to maintain them, they require a lot of our energy.
What do we need for yoga asana practice? There are only a few things:
First of all, it is a quiet, clean place where I can spread out a mat, rug, 2 max 3 sets of clothes (so that we have time to clean them). I prefer to buy more durable items so I do not need to bother too often to change them and buy new pieces. If you think about how much time it will take you to go to the shop and find the thing that suits you. It might take hours. Rather spend more time practicing, spend that time in the nature or with your beloved ones.
I would like to explain you CPW formula. As an example, I will use the yoga rug.
I am sure that by this formula the buying consciousness will make more sense. You will be able to apply it in more aspects of your life.
Product price / number of product’s uses = Price per wear
If you buy a yoga mat, let´s say for 80 euros and change it every 18 months, after 3 years you have paid 160 euros.
If you change the rubber mat every year (more intense exercise / outdoor use) after 3 years, you will spend almost 250 euros on yoga mats!
Yoga rugs offer you much better value at a better price.
Initially, the costs are a bit higher, but the rug will last you: 6 -10 years. Depending on the maintenance, if you take care about your rug, it will last long.
If the rug cost is 49 Euros after 3 years with the fact that you exercise6 times a week, you spend 16.3 Euros/yearly on the rug. After 5 years it's 9.8 Eur and after 10 years it's 4.9 per year.
So the price per use will be few cents. The more you use it, the lower the cost can be.
And even if the rug will not be useful for your practice anymore just give it do your dogs or cats if you have any. Animals love Leela rugs!
You can also use it as a climbing mat, under your feet, take it for a picnic to the mountains or to the beach.
It never ends up in a land field or in the ocean, which is the final destination of most plastic and rubber mats.
Even when it happens with a cotton rug, the Earth will take it back. We can not say that when we talk about plastic yoga mats.
Leela rugs are completely biodegradable!
Leela - in connection with Mother Earth!