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Ahimsa and Environmentalism: Iana’s Solar Bus Story

Hatha Yoga, Key Teachings   |   January 17, 2020

Ahimsa as an environmental approach

Ahimsa is the Yogic principle of non-harm, from the Yoga Sutra’s Yamas and NiyamasEssential for any Yogi, ahimsa applies to all our actions, not only with one another and ourselves but with all living beings and the planet as a whole.

“Unless one is firmly rooted in ahimsa in one’s thoughts, speech, and actions, the true practice of Yoga cannot begin. Through this practice of  Yoga, practitioners develop harmony with and reverence for nature.”

 -Pankaj Jain 

Iana Sundari Malcolm, a Yoga Instructor, birth doula, and Integral Yoga Teacher Trainer, is a breathtaking example of how to truly live Yoga, practicing ahimsa in her personal as well as her professional life.

“Yoga, for me, was always about much more than the asana. It’s about a way of living.”

-Iana Sundari Malcolm

Currently, Iana is traveling across the country with her partner John, and their dog Ana-Mae in a renovated school bus equipped with solar panels.

Iana Sundari Malcom in her solar panel equipped school bus is ahimsa

Leading workshops and retreats from Georgia to California, Iana is taking her skills and knowledge on the road. Her passion includes all things wellness and extends to caring for the environment by traveling in their sustainable tiny home. 

Ahimsa looks like sustainable living

“While we are here and in this bus, solar is the first start. Solar panels are our way of practicing ahimsa, non-violence, to this earth that is allowing us to so graciously cross it and spend time dwelling in it. Here in the bus, solar is only the first start.”

-Iana Sundari Malcolm

Additionally, Iana and John have a long term plan to build a freshwater system on the bus. Eventually, this system will be able to harvest rainwater out on the road. 

“There is a long term plan for making this bus greener and greener. For us, living a life that is not just about the non-harm of humans but also about a life of non-harm of this country.”

-Iana Sundari Malcolm

Another way in which Iana practices ahimsa is with her company, Bliss Out Retreats, which takes clients on luxury mindfulness and meditation retreats around the world.

“We as a company with Bliss Out Retreats took our retreats from 10 per year to 1 per year because of the negative effect of taking so many flights. We brought that number down by offering our clients something called Stay Cations, which allows them to have a guided retreat, but at home.”

-Iana Sundari Malcolm

During Stay Cations, meditation sessions and Yoga classes are facilitated for clients over the internet, without ever having to leave their homes. When clients do take a flight for a retreat they stay at eco-lodges to experience sustainable living alternatives. Additionally, all retreats have a day of service so participants have an opportunity to give back to the communities they visit. 

Iana Sundari Malcolm, John, and Yogaville residents gather as Rev. Dhyani Simonini blesses the school bus for a safe and prosperous journey.

As we enter 2020, it is overwhelmingly apparent that we have a shared responsibility for one another and our planet. Harm is not only the seen aggression but the failure to act or adapt our lifestyles to better sustain and protect our environment. What are some ways you can apply ahimsa in your daily life to help protect our planet? 

Young Iana Sundari Malcolm
with Sri Swami Satchidananda

 

Written by Kṛtajña Kerby

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