Eco Karma Yoga and Prepping

My partner and I went around the neighborhood and sowed some seeds into the planters. I’ve always been inspired by guerrilla gardening. Look up Ron Finley’s Gangsta Garden project to feel inspired yourself! He even has a TED talk about it.

As we exist on the tipping point of destruction or saving our planet, each act as small as a seed being planted could make a big difference! How will we survive if things do collapse? By adapting, figuring out ways to DIY, growing edible landscapes and then knowing how to cook what was grown from scratch, networking into smaller communities, prevention of diseases through self care practices, etc. Collapse really could happen any time, a peculiar piece of evidence that I caught was a commercial on TV for 15 year supplies for a family of prepackaged meals in case of an emergency.

To be responsible is to be prepared. To be prepared through the various mentioned ways would undoubtedly soften human’s load on the planet anyways and thereby reduce whatever consequences we would face if we didn’t start preparing now.

This week we move into Spring, so it is time to practice growing some edible plants, especially those of you who think you can’t!!! Herbs are a good place to start. Lay some seeds down, connect to your community, bicycle instead of drive, and know that this is all part of our ahimsa practice towards the Earth and all of its current and future inhabitants. This is our karma yoga, to selflessly serve the earth and al it’s people, plants, animals, and insects, even when it’s not the most convenient for your self.

PS. If you’re in Milwaukee, you can come to Eco Yoga Sunday’s at 10AM and know that 20% of total proceeds from your asana practice is donated to organizations that keep rainforests intact!

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Juniper Berries

Juniper berries. I continue practicing this lesson from every fruit-bearing tree, which is to selflessly offer the fruits of my labor without hoping to receive anything in return. Often when I do expect something in return, it ends up causing deep pain, because I am not living according to Truth and love. However, when giving without attachment to receiving anything, it leaves my mind and heart at peace. Right work done well and in the mood of serving the Lord without attachment to the fruits is a form of prayer. Through karma yoga, we can obtain mukti, or liberation. “Remain evenminded in success and failure. Evenmindedness is true yoga.”

Update on Eco Yoga

Eco Yoga’s proceeds from the last two weeks went to protecting the rainforests that are :

Nestled in the southern coast of Borneo lies the Rimba Raya Orangutan Reserve. One of the most highly endangered ecosystems in the world, the High Conservation Value (HCV), lowland peat swamp forest is home to local communities and over 1,000 at-risk plant and animal species, including the Borneo orangutan, clouded leopard, and Asian sun bear. Everyday, paper and palm oil interests put Indonesian forests in jeopardy. If these forests are cut down, we run the risk of emitting one of the largest concentrations of natural carbon in the world.

Stand For Trees  helps protect these forests and all those who depend on them including local communities and local wildlife — keeping carbon stored in their trees and out of our atmosphere. In addition, your purchase helps improve access to clean water, efficient cook stoves, and health care for all those who live in the project area. (Quoted from the Stand For Trees website)

Show up to your practice at Eco Yoga and your practice benefits all of the beings that you share with the whole planet.

Earth Day Karma Seed Bombs

Karma yoga is the connection to oneness or God by renouncing the fruits of our actions.  

The Bhagavad Gita states “The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with the senses, only for the purpose of purification.  The steadily devoted soul attains peace because he offers the result of all activities to Me [Krishna]; whereas a person who is not in union with the Divine, who is greedy for the fruits of their their labor, becomes entangled” (5.11-12)

The health of the planet, the purity of the air and water we thrive on effects our own health; one’s health depends on the health of Earth.  We are not separate.

It’s a little bit frightening to realize this and consider where our planet is at…

Many swamis have said that the external world is a reflection of our internal world.  How is the state of our environment reflecting what’s happening within us?  

We come to our sadhana to improve ourselves first and then it ripples out to effect our environment.

So for yoga teacher training on Earth Day, we engaged in some karma yoga, as pictured above: seed bombs.  These are balls of clay and wildflower seeds to plant in neglected spaces.  

To make a seed bomb get some overworked clay from a local potter to recycle- it should be moist but not a slurry.  Get your seeds, ones that can grow independently, and a little compost to give them some nutrients.

It’s 3-5 parts clay to 1 part seeds, 1 part fine or sifted compost.  Of course I don’t measure, so I recommend grabbing 1 inch diameter ball or hunk of clay, flatten, and then sprinkle your compost and seeds in the middle.  Fold the clay around it, start to ball it and work it it becomes an even mixture and you might be able to add some more seeds in.  If you mix in too much, the clay will crumble, so just split it into two and add a little more clay to each.

Let them dry for at least a few hours and then find some neglected spaces to spread some beauty!  Think about if someone is mowing or weed wacking the space and avoid planting seeds there…

Finally offer your seeds up to that which is Supreme.

For more detailed instructions on seed bombs: http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/diy-seed-bombs

Yoga Is my Art Practice 


This is me pouring iron four years ago.  I am an artist.  I went to school for a bachelors of fine art, concentrating on jewelry, metalsmithing and printmaking. I am still an artist, only most people probably do not consider me one.

My mission statement I declared as an artist was to improve the world.  As I continued trying to bring awareness to my community by smithing objects and prints, I realized yoga to be the most effective medium.  The most successful artists choose the best suited medium for their message and yoga delivers the message that my heart needs to share, the message of connection one has to all entities. Our purpose here is not to serve ourselves a cushy house with the luxury to vacation once or twice a year at the price of biodiversity of rainforests or the sea creatures, but to share the divine love that we’ve been gifted with all beings.  My mission is to inspire thinking about others first before serving the self, to empower ourselves to take a step out of the center at this crucial time when our planet is at a tipping point leaning towards destruction.  

My art practice now looks like this:

One year anniversary of Eco Yoga

We might not be able to make huge improvements for world everyday, but we can at least do a little improvement each day. Collectively the little acts of service add up. After a year of meeting once a week for yoga practice, the Eco Yoga Community has prevented 20 metric tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere by preventing deforestation! Will you help us double that number for the second year of Eco Yoga?

Eco Yoga is a heart-felt asana class dedicated to serving our miraculous home, the only planet with life, in this crucial tipping point of climate change. Rainforests are massive carbon sinks, yet continuously they are burnt down to grow palm oil or raise cattle, returning the carbon back into the atmosphere. By stepping onto your mat, you fulfill your dharma to prevent another rainforest from burning; proceeds from each ten-class package are donated to prevent one metric ton from polluting our atmosphere and furthering our commitment to climate chaos. Eco Yoga is about connecting within and to Oneness, and realizing that Earth’s wellbeing translates to the wellbeing of one’s self. Dedicating your yoga to something higher than you empowers you as a channel for that higher energy. Eco Yoga transforms consciousness and karma as we start to see and treat the universe as an expansion of ourselves. The asana is creatively sequenced to challenge, with pranayama and options to play with arm balances and inversions. (Level 2-3)

This class is offered each Sunday at 10AM – 11:15 at the Pink House Studio on the intersection of Booth and Wright in Riverwest, Milwaukee, beginning April 30!

$14 per drop-in, or $100 for a 10-pack. 20% is donated to save the rainforests, save the critters, save the humans!

Three Practices to End Suffering

Humans are conditioned to suffer; suffering seems normal and we just accept it as part of life. We continue destructive behaviors even after we’ve been shown the harm we are inflicting on ourselves and others. Once we see the harm we cause, we feel guilty and the cycle is complete, we’re suffering again.
Often the ego tricks us into believing we are the victim, when we’re perceiving from the center, it seems things are happening to us- watch out for this voice!  In an early part of our journeys, victimhood holds some truth. We can fall victim to unconscious thinking and acting.  Once we recognize that we are free to choose what we think and do, we free ourselves from suffering. Pain is there and will arise- how do we react?  Do we complain, or with awareness realize it as a passing moment.  It’s not immediate, but it’s a challenging process of recognizing thoughts and impulses as they arise and choosing – do I go with the impulse? Where does the impulse come from – my True Eternal Blissful Self or the false self? (Hint: the false self usually wants to keep us suffering – stuck in the illusion of self as center; the True Self wants to serve the center.)  
 There are three ingredients in the recipe for success for relieving suffering, according to Sri Prem Baba: svadhyaya, or self-study and the study of sacred texts, humility, and sadhana, or spiritual practice.
Svadhyaya allows us to discover ourselves – what is ego, or the false self, and what is our True Self?  Notice your thoughts, daily patterns and choices this is your starting point.  Sacred texts are helpful in describing the true self. Sat chit ananda, your true self is eternal, unchanging, blissful. My suggestions for useful texts: Light on Life by BKS Iyengar, Sri Swami Satchidanda’s commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and Swami Vivekenanda’s Jnana Yoga.  As you read these helpful texts, now observe yourself in light of the texts- what would Iyengar, Vivekenanda, or Satchidananda say?
Humility attracts wisdom, and pride or arrogance chases wisdom and divinity away. Humility also keeps us on our toes. When we’ve think we’ve gotten control of our senses and emotions, they can more easily sneak up on us. Pride also makes us feel like we know, so in a way it makes our cup full; humility is like an empty cup in which lessons from the divine can flow in and further fill us up.  
Sadhana keeps stripping away the false self and brings us back to the present moment to check in with ourselves. Sadhana is like an internal cleanse, all day long we are collecting impressions, like a house gathering dust. Sadhana is our way of directing the impressions for a set amount of time in order to keep a cleaner house.  Sadhana is making a conscious choice about what we’re doing and what we’re focusing on.