Yoga in our Everyday Lives

Recently I was invited to speak in #Belfast at a gathering dedicated to raising awareness around local environmental concerns. This gathering was a heartfelt pledge to protect our precious natural world, not just through words, but through tangible actions that stretch far beyond the boundaries of a yoga mat.

In many ways, it resonated with the principles we hold dear during our yoga practice – the quest for equilibrium, unity, and harmony in a world yearning for healing. It’s a journey that goes way beyond raising environmental awareness; it’s about weaving the age-old wisdom of yoga into our everyday lives, illuminating our path as we work together to safeguard our natural earth that supports us and give us life.

Here is my speech…..


“Here, on the streets of Belfast, we assemble not as protestors but as guardians of a cause that unites us all—safeguarding the invaluable natural wonder that is Lough Neagh, nestled to the south and east of the breath-taking Sperrin mountains.

For me, this cause hits close to home as the Moyola and Ballinderry rivers, born in the Sperrin Mountains and converging with Lough Neagh, now pass through areas targeted for mining exploration, exacerbating the already fragile state of the Lough Neagh ecosystem.

Living in the Sperrin Mountains, I am privileged to witness on a daily basis the firsthand beauty that surrounds us. But I also see the dark shadows that loom, as the temptation to prioritise short-term gains places our delicately balanced ecosystem of blanket bogs, mountains, and loughs at severe risk. It's easy to understand the allure of an economic boom built on extractive industries. The dangling promise of prosperity and abundance can blind us to the long-term consequences that these industries leave in their wake. In the face of such temptations, we must remember the tale of King Midas, whose insatiable desire for gold turned all he touched into the very material he coveted. We must learn from Midas and realise that all that glitters is not gold.

As we advocate for a world fit for our children to live in, we find ourselves in uncharted territory. We are, after all, the first generation.

However, to wrestle with the concept of accumulating less. It requires a fundamental shift in our mindset, recognising that true wealth lies not in the abundance of material possessions but in the health and vitality of our living earth. It is a responsibility that weighs heavily on us, but it is also a tremendous opportunity to create lasting change.

To win hearts and minds, we must speak not only to those who already share our convictions but also to those who hold the reins of power.

We need to reach the captains of industry, the visionaries responsible for strategic investment and planning, and gently urge them to embrace a sustainable future. We must appeal to their deepest desires to leave a positive legacy for future generations, even as we acknowledge the challenges they face in balancing economic progress and ecological well-being.

In this journey, our strength lies in our unity. By coming together and marching arm in arm, hand in hand, we send a powerful message that cannot be ignored.

Let us engage with our local communities by sharing our collective wisdom and leading the charge for change, empowering a deeper understanding of how environmental issues affect our daily lives. Let us collaborate with policymakers by sharing our knowledge and advocating for change. And let us harness the wonders of technology, exploring innovative solutions that align economic well-being with the well-being of our planet.

My friends, today I implore you to listen to the whisper of your heart. Feel the connection that binds us to the intricate web of life that surrounds us. Let us march forward, not only as voices for change but as role models for our children, friends, family, and work colleagues and inspirations for those who doubt. Our collective voices, guided by compassion and unwavering determination, will reshape the narrative of our relationship with nature.

Together, we will create a future where the harmony between humankind and the natural world becomes the defining characteristic of our existence.

Our actions today will reverberate through time, weaving a tapestry of hope for generations to come. Let us march as one, hand in hand, towards a brighter and more sustainable tomorrow.

Thank you, and let us forge ahead with love and conviction.”