Guest post by Annie Welsh (Music teacher, Yoga teacher, honorary member of the FTW family) – Instagram: @annieyogisoo
Yogic act: an action that brings good to at least one person and harm to no one.
This summer, I spent a very educational month living at Satchidananda Ashram in central Virginia. Along with the other yogis in my cohort, I spent my days serving the ashram, practicing meditation, hatha and pranayama, and studying ancient yogic texts. It was during these studies that I first heard the phrase yogic act. For me, learning this phrase was an ah-ha moment about how to live simply in a very fast paced and material world.
It is easy to make uninformed purchases. I have done it often out of convenience or even just boredom (browsing products online or stopping into a big chain store to browse after dinner.) But this has led to a lifestyle that I cannot reconcile with the teachings I studied at Satchidananda Ashram. On days when my house is messy, it is cluttered and overwhelmed by items purchased thoughtlessly. Cleaning and organizing this mess distracts me from practicing hatha and meditation and takes away my time from activities I would prefer to be doing.
What if I let go of wanting all these material things and looked at every purchase I make through the “yogic act filter”? I began thinking about this idea as I was coming closer to transitioning back into my life away from the ashram. Although I already feel passionate about Fair Trade products, the idea of making my daily purchases all “yogic acts” fueled this passion even more. I began to realize the number of purchases that I make each week that don’t do much good for others and potentially bring harm to someone. And then I realized how many of those purchases aren’t even things that I need. They are the items that clutter up my home and disturb my peace on a daily basis.
When I shop Fair Trade, I know I am performing a yogic act. I am bringing good to many people and my purchase doesn’t harm anyone.In fact, when I shop Fair Trade, I am voting for a world that is less harmful and more loving. I am voting for a world where all people can live simple, joyful lives. So I pose this question to you: are you ready to vote for that world too? Are you ready to live a simple and joyful life? In the words of Sivananda Saraswati, “Be good, do good.”