When you think of yoga you probably think of relaxation, flexibility, health, physical benefits, yoga mats, yoga pants, and comforting studios. What you might not think about is the eco-friendly and sustainable green side of the studios that offer this Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline.
Here are six studios that are going to great lengths to be good for the body, mind, and Earth.
We first became acquainted with Evolution through our 2018 “Best Small Business In America” Contest, and we have been impressed with them ever since. Evolution’s four Pennsylvania locations have raised the bar on sustainability by focusing on what is most important to them—their community and the world.
Their community efforts are best communicated through their mission “To generate positive sustainable change and cultural unity within our community by empowering individuals and organizations through the foundations of yoga.”
They do this by focusing on the following:
- Integrity (what you see is what you get)
- Unity (embracing diversity)
- Empowerment (creating yoga for everyone)
- Possibility (believing that anything is achievable)
In addition to their community focus, Evolution also thinks globally through programs such as the Africa Yoga Project (AYP). According to Evolution, AYP focuses on “core activities on a weekly basis [that] include: yoga practice, meditation, self-exploration through inquiry, performing arts as a vehicle for empowerment, health education (HIV/AIDS), relationship building, and community activism.”
AYP is also community focused. Their programs are meant to increase “physical, emotional and mental wellbeing on the individual level while also building healthy and empowered communities.”
The Green Yogi
When a new shop owner takes over their new space they often make it home by changing and redesigning the guts. This process can create a lot of waste when old flooring and old walls are tossed out to make way for all things new and shiny, but if you have sustainability in mind like The Green Yogi then you embrace the space to save the waste. Keeping the walls and flooring was only the first of many green steps founder Mary Strong-Sullivan took to keep her yoga studio as green as possible.
For any new remodel materials needed, Strong-Sullivan used FSC-certified wood (environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, economically viable) and low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint.
According to Strong-Sullivan, “Every time [they] make a decision, the environmental impact is considered.” This is why you will not find paper or plastic bags used for in-studio purchases, their garden eliminates water waste via fake grass, and their check-in process is paper free.
How many yoga studios have seventy locations in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia that all practice high levels of sustainability? The answer is one. The Modo Yoga community takes its “cause-no-harm” principles very seriously and upholds their practice by adhering to six pillars:
- Be Accessible (providing yoga to serve all backgrounds and abilities)
- Be Community (staying stronger together)
- Be Green (protecting the planet for full-circle well being)
- Be Healthy (creating healthy choices for body, mind, and spirit)
- Be Peace (cultivating harmony inside and out)
- Live to Learn to believe in staying “humble, curious, and passionate”)
In regards to pillar number three, and according to Ted Grand, founder of Moksha (Canadian spelling) Yoga International, “[They] try to have every single component go through a green checklist.” This translates into a variety of environmentally friendly efforts.
For instance, in their Burnaby, Vancouver studio they use energy efficient washers and dryers, environmentally friendly floor finishes, and non-toxic cleaning supplies. This studio even took the steps to build with hempcrete; hemp sourced bio-composite material.
Modo’s sustainable efforts don’t stop in their studios. They support different organizations around the world. This year its Junglekeepers, a Peruvian NGO co-founded by members of the Modo community. Modo states Junglekeepers’ mission as protecting the land along the Las Piedras region of the Peruvian Amazon. With Modo’s assistance, Junglekeepers is currently protecting a section of land roughly six times as big as Central Park from illegal mining, logging, and poaching.
A great descriptor of how to make the world a better, healthier place is fully embodied at a yoga studio with locations across the United States. For Honor Yoga, these aren’t just words, they’re a way of life.
These are the impactful, eco-friendly steps that Honor Yoga take with all of their studios:
– Maintaining living vertical gardens
– Utilizing bamboo floors (a wood alternative that grows prolifically, regenerates without need for replanting, and requires minimal fertilization or pesticides)
– Providing filtered water to encourage all of their students to use reusable water bottles (they provide a reusable option with every membership)
– Reducing paper waste in restrooms by using cloth hand towels (all other paper products are recycled)
– Selling eco-friendly items in their shops such as cork yoga blocks, bamboo, and organic clothing, eco-friendly yoga mats, and organic lavender products from a local farm (all shop bags are reusable)
– Cleaning with eco-friendly products
Pair all of this with their exceptional yoga practice and you truly have studios committed to all aspects of health and well-being for their students and the planet alike.
In San Mateo, California there is a yoga studio that is taking big steps to make the world a better place, and it all starts with natural light. This light not only gives the studio a fresh and warm glow that reinforces the natural flow of their classes, it also provides power via the studio’s solar panels.
These panels have a mighty impact on Nandi’s green footprint as they provide power for everything from electricity, which fuels their energy-saving appliances, to the generation of the studio’s hot water.
Nandi’s green efforts have deep roots. As the daughter of an Environmental Protection Agency employee, Wendy Klein was raised to ensure our environment is a healthy one. Through her efforts, Nandi was certified as a green San Mateo business in 2009. Having this certification means that they have worked with San Mateo County to not only understand and practice energy conservation but also water conservation, waste reduction, and pollution elimination.
These green practices create an atmosphere where Nandi’s clients can practice yoga to enrich their lives mentally and physically while also helping to reduce their carbon footprints.
Yoloha Yoga is here to change the yoga experience and our planet simultaneously. Yoloha yoga mats are made from recycled cork and are able to repel the bacteria that linger in our sweat after a downward dog.
In addition to being more sanitary than a traditional mat, the cork also works as an extra layer of grip, providing beginners and experts alike with a much better experience.
In order to create the world’s very first cork mats, Yoloha asks the public to send them their wine corks to be recycled. These recycled corks are then cleaned, ground into small pieces, and turned into blocks, meditation cushions, and traditional mats. The Yoloha team employs sustainable practices in their shipping and warehouse facilities, and vow never to use single-use plastics.
Editor’s Note: References made to businesses/companies in this post are not meant to convey affiliation with or endorsement of Rubicon by those companies in any way.
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