Photo Credit: Notable.ca
Sarvabhauma is the sanskrit word for universal culture because yoga was meant for the whole of humanity.
The word “yoga”, in Indian sanskrit, has many meanings, most of which relate to “joining” or “uniting.”
Yoga starts with individual growth, and from there, society and community develop.
B.K.S. Iyengar states in The Tree of Yoga, “If a hundred people are practicing yoga and can be seen to be healthy, then others will begin to ask what they are doing. In this way the numbers are increased and soon there will be another hundred, or two or three hundred.”
This process starts with a healthy code of conduct, which each individual has to develop.
Universal commonalities among yoga practitioners include high concerns about their health, eating sustainable foods, taking care of the environment as well as the community.
Two and a half thousand years ago, philosopher Pantajali created the 8-Limbed Path to Enlightenment. The first step, the roots, are the Yamas. The Yamas encourage us that our fundamental nature is compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful. They are the moral virtues which purify human nature and contribute to health and happiness of society.
The first Yama, Ahimsa means kindness, friendliness, and thoughtful consideration of other people and things. It also has to do with our duties and responsibilities as well. Ahimsa implies that in every situation we should adopt a considerate attitude and do no harm.
When I reflect on the concept of universal culture and morality, I’m reminded of my visits to Vancouver, the third-largest city in Canada, well-known for its natural beauty, a unique geographical mix of mountains and sea.
My favorite place Vancouver is Stanley Park and it also happens to be a popular hotspot. The park consists of beaches and stretches of walking and cycling tracks along the water. Within the park, there are several other attractions to enjoy. On one of my long overnights in Vancouver in 2007, my mother came to explore the city with me. We captured some of the best views of Vancouver City from walking through this park.
Vancouver is consistently named as one of the top five worldwide cities for livability and quality of life. Vancouver's characteristic approach to urban planning originated in the late 1950s, when city planners began to encourage the building of high-rise residential towers in Vancouver's West End. More recently, the city has been debating the concept of ecodensity as they find ways in which density, design, and land use can contribute to Ahimsa through environmental sustainability, affordability, and livability.
Everywhere that I went- restaurants, parks, and shops, the people were so kind and friendly. It struck me as unusual at first, but now it all makes sense why.
Vancouver operates under a principle of Abundance. Their motto is "By Sea, Land, and Air We Prosper." Vancouver port is the busiest port on the West Coast of the North American continent.
The city has beautiful weather and an open-door policy under which anyone from any country is welcome to call this city home. Therefore, Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada. Vancouver is classed as a Beta Global City- sometimes alpha city or world center. This status is considered to be beneficial and desired. This title is given to cities with a variety of international financial services, centers of media and communications for global networks, centers of new ideas and innovation in business, economics, culture, and politics, high-quality educational institutions, including renowned universities, international students, and research facilities, as well as a multi-functional infrastructure offering some of the best legal, medical, and entertainment facilities in the country.
In order to achieve this kind of status and livability, this city has come together as a community in city-planning. Just as in yoga, all the parts come together as One whole.
Even the Beluga Whales enjoy their quality of life.
Stemming from this attitude of abundance comes a responsibility to maintain its greatness as Vancouver has remained on the top list of best livable cities for the past 5 years. According to the 2014 Global Green Economy Index, Vancouver was recognized as the fourth greenest city in the world. In December 2013, the city announced a proposal for a Zero Waste Innovation Center that focuses on sustainable waste handling and energy recovery, potentially through the use of waste gassification technology.
With the goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020, the city's action plan outlines the following 10 discrete goals within three key categories (carbon, waste, ecosystem). They plan to double the number of green jobs and businesses with green operations, require all new buildings built after 2020 to be carbon neutral, reduce CO2 emissions in existing buildings, reduce driving and increase foot, bicycle, and public transit traffic, reduce solid waste going to landfills, increase accessibility of green parks, greenways, and other green space, reduce consumption and ecological footprints, increase water quality and reduce water consumption, increase air quality, measured against Metro Vancouver and World Health Organization guidelines, and increase the amount of locally grown food.
I love this sculpture in Vancouver International Airport.
Vancouver has hosted many international conferences and events. Surprisingly yoga is more popular here in Canada than any other country in the world, with India coming second and the United States barely winning over Singapore. Are you surprised that Vancouver is the winner of all cities in the world?
Vancouver inspired Yoga Leggings
I can’t think of a better place to host The Yoga Expo with over 100 classes and workshops.
This event is not only an opportunity for people to connect deeply with their innermost selves, but it also produces a unity and oneness of all through the practice of yoga.
According to Yoga Journal, approximately 37 million Americans are practicing yoga today. The popularity is up significantly from 20 million since 2012 because people are noticing benefits in flexibility, stress relief and fitness. Of current non-yogis, 34% of Americans say they are at least somewhat likely to practice yoga in the next 12 months, representing more than 80 million Americans that call themselves “aspirational yogis,” people who are interested in trying yoga. If you are an aspirational yogi, this expo is the perfect opportunity for you to get started.
The Yoga Expo is like a sampler platter of yoga classes from Gentle and Yin Yoga to Ashtanga Vinyasa or Iyengar. All ages and levels are welcome. We especially encourage beginners to attend to find the yoga style that works for you right now.
Photo Credit: The Yoga Expo
This is a place where leaders can come together to educate communities, moving forward with more earth-friendly, sustainable lifestyle practices that helps everyday people like you and me become more aware of the choices that surround us. It serves as a platform to educate and empower us consumers about the daily choices that affect our planet. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your daily habits, set personal and attainable goals, and turn those goals into reality through positive, conscious, energy and action.
The cost is also universally accessible, only $35 for a full day including live music, local and sustainable food samples, and a unique, 20,000 square foot yoga-themed marketplace.
Now is the time to become part of this universal culture as a healthy and caring community.
Photo Credit: The Yoga Expo
Hannah seeks to find relationships between nature, cultures, yoga, and art through her writing.
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Fun Yoga in the Park
Travel the world with me through yoga!
These themed lessons are fun for all ages and levels at Mission Bay Park.
See the page, Park Yoga, for more information!
Lessons from Abroad