Ordering yoga props was a bit of a challenge. For nearly all of my purchases, I consider the environmental impact. If you're like me, you understand that it can become overwhelming with the abundance or lack of choices out there.
I'm happy to say that these blankets are made of 100% reclaimed fibers. What does "reclaimed fiber" mean? Reclaimed fibers are bi-products of the clothing and upholstery industries. Scraps of fabric are reclaimed, reprocessed, and repurposed as new fiber products leaving less of an impact on our environment that products made with virgin materials.
Making eco-friendlier choices like these aren't just a "environmentalist" practice but in fact can be tied into yoga principles. Ahimsa, or non-violence, is the first of the Yamas or moral guidelines of yoga's eightfold path.
Violence is most often recognized when it has an immediate effect; gun violence, war, bullying, assault, etc. When considered more deeply, non-harm, non-injury and non-violence(Ahimsa) can in fact be applied in every day choices toward situations that may not typically be considered violent. Ahimsa doesn't refer only to violence among people, but toward all beings of the earth!
On a large scale Ahimsa can be cultivated when we respect and protect our planet. Many choices we make as individuals, and as a societal whole, harm the earth on a daily basis. Have you ever thought that buying something wrapped in plastic, throwing away a recyclable, or spraying pesticides on your lawn was an act of violence toward our ecosystems? Making more sustainable choices (like buying eco-friendlier yoga blankets) allow us to cultivate ahimsa by practicing non-violence toward the environment.
On a small scale Ahimsa can be cultivated when you... guide a harmless insect back to the outside world instead of squashing it, take a deep breath before losing it after a long day and yelling at someone, and even by acknowledging your own limitations before burning yourself out.
Practicing Ahimsa toward yourself may in fact be one of the most important aspects of this Yama. In your yoga practice, Ahimsa is cultivated when we listen to our body's needs, acknowledge limits, and move in supportive ways rather than pushing oneself to potential injury. For example, Ahimsa toward yourself can be practiced when you use a blanket to protect your knees when kneeling or your back when laying down to prevent pain. In the yoga sutra, Heyam dukham anagatam translates to "The pain and suffering which is yet to come is avoidable." Learning to prevent emotional, phsyiscal and mental violence/injury toward ourselves is the first step. If we can't protect ourselves from violence and injuries, how can we be expected to do so for others?