Poem for the Earth --Christina Echols
Six months on from my 200 hour yoga teacher training at Pavones Yoga Centre, I have fully landed in ‘real’ life – with all the responsibilities and obligations
that we were temporarily released from while at Pavones. Each day I fear losing touch with all that I felt and found while at Pavones. I teach yoga,
I continue to practice at a nearby studio, but the Pavones feeling cannot be replicated!
I continue to ask myself... Who am I? What matters most? These are questions we were asked to contemplate while at PYC.
Recently, while taking a course at home, I wanted more. I wanted to know how my practice of yoga could help spread compassion and non-violence (ahimsa)
to people I interact with every day who are not necessarily aware of the philosophy of yoga (nor do they have any interest in it!). I think of my mother
– a non-yogi, but a devout Christian who practices many of the yamas and niyamas without knowing they exist (many principles of Christianity overlap).
She is also great at meditation although she was the first to ask me exactly what I do when I meditate! (She does it all the time without knowing it).
So while I carry on in my life, trying my best to act with compassion and generosity towards everyone I interact with, with my mother as role model, I
have decided to work on little, small changes... one at a time. Eat a more vegetarian diet, decrease my use of plastic, try to be minimalist in my
very first-world home, look for more ways to decrease my footprint upon this earth, and do my best to influence those around me to do the same.
In thinking about our interconnectedness to the earth (a deep focal point of the Pavones Yoga Center training) and continuing to watch natural disasters
unfold at a rate I have never witnessed... a poem... YES A POEM! has come to me. For those who took the yoga teacher training with me, please grin
and smile -- you might remember I was vehemently NOT a poet on the day we had to compose a poem. I believe the prose below (is it a poem? I’m still
not sure), is part of what I want to communicate every day to all I interact with and the first people I wanted to share it with was the Pavones community.
Poem for the Earth
We are part of the earth and she is part of we.
We love her, enjoy her, and then ignore her.
We poison her.
Poison: Carbon emissions, plastic, war.
Earth responds just like any sick body.
Feel her fever and high temperatures
in deadly forest fires and global warming.
Her infectious boils spill over
in hurricanes ,tornados, and earthquakes.
Her sweat and tears of illness
flow in floods and storms.
She is unhealthy and therefore
we are unhealthy.
Her pain is our pain.
She needs our help to heal.
We need her to survive.
Without earth, we die.
We cannot change our past actions.
Now is the time, to change our present
so that there is a future.
Every small change helps.
What can you change today?