Green Studio Practices

Oct 15, 2014   //   by Staff Writer   //   The Blog  //  No Comments

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For years, Yoga District has been keeping the studios eco-friendly out of concern for student and staff health as well as environmental love and respect. Check out some of the ways we’ve been keeping it green.

Wind Power and Energy Conservation
By partnering with Viridian Green, Yoga District studios (except for one location in which the landlord controls the utilities) are powered by renewable energy including wind power. The student community at Yoga District is also graciously tolerant of our efforts to reduce cooling energy expenditures by opening a window and turning on fans until the DC heat compels us to turn on the AC. In cooler seasons, we try to avoid overheating the studios, relying on vigorous warm-ups to get students sweating (exceptions of course being a few hot yoga classes on our class schedule).

Green Products
From toilet paper to handsoap, the products you use when you visit Yoga District studios are as eco-friendly as can be. This isn’t lip service though– we aren’t fooled by manufacturers using slick packaging to pretend their products are green (“greenwashed” products). Instead, we’ve done our research to ensure the products we use are truly green, cost friendly and effective. For instance, the manufacturer of the dish soap we use (Earth Friendly Ultra Liquid Dish-mate) ensures that no carcinogenic 1, 4 Dioxane is left behind in the production process, which is incredibly common in production of regular dish soaps (read more scary stuff about regular dish soap here). If the first ethical guideline in yoga is non-violence / active love (ahimsa) then the least we can do is use dish soap that won’t cause cancer! Another favorite eco product around the studios is biodegradable garbage bags made from recycled content at a facility with 100% green energy.

Keeping It Clean
With many regular household floor and surface cleaners being rather poisonous we consider it part of our duty to keep Yoga District studios clean using non-toxic options. Thankfully we’re not sacrificing any cleaning power by using natural alternatives to commercial cleaning products– anyone who has taken whiff of our rental mats cleaned with a vinegar cleaning solution knows that this is powerful stuff! It’s true that if someone adds a bit too much vinegar to the solution, your mat might smell like a pickle, but as long as the recipe is followed, the refreshing smell of tea tree oil helps to calm the vinegar’s bite. In case you want to make the vinegar and tea tree all-purpose cleaning solution for use in your home or on your mat, here’s the recipe Yoga District relies on:

– 3 tbsp eco-friendly dish soap
– 9 cups of water
– 3 cups of vinegar
– 3 Drops of 100% pure tea tree oil

Make sure you add the soap to the water first and then that mixture to the vinegar–otherwise it may curdle. This powerful and non-harming mixture is said to combat “gram-negative” bacteria and denature the proteins in viruses. It also wipes out soap residue, mineral deposits and it’s safe to use on wood and carpets–pretty handy.

If you don’t already use tea tree oil at home, you might want to try it out. It’s known as a natural antiseptic and anti-fungal treatment with antibiotic properties and infection-reducing benefits. The oil is created by heating and pressing the leaves of the narrow-leaved paperbark tree. Some of its uses include:
– Skin clearing and spot checking
Some organic cotton swabs and a few drops of tea tree oil on acne spots or blemishes can result in clearer skin for the long-term. The disinfecting and soothing properties can fight bacteria in your pores without disrupting the normal ph balance on your skin or irritating your sebaceous glands.
– Moisturizing hair follicles and combating dandruff
The moisturizing properties of tea tree oil can soothe dry hair and split ends and it can also help with dry itchy scalps that cause dandruff and flaky skin. It can also be applied to razor burn.
– Yoga mat sanitizer
Tea tree oil happens to be the ultimate yoga mat cleaning tool. Make sure you’re diluting your solution with water or vinegar like we suggest in the recipe above. Just spray your mat and wipe it down – it’s easy, doesn’t leave a residue, and it smells amazing. There’s no reason to smell toxic chemical cleaners in down dog ever again.

Recycling
Every Yoga District studio has large recycling bins and we try to ensure what ends up in those bins meets Washington DC’s recycling guidelines.

Collaborating
As a founding member of the Green Yoga Association, Yoga District tries to work with others to find ways to integrate yoga studio practices and eco-friendly practices. We feel being eco-friendly, supporting eco-friendly products and informing our students about steps they can take to be more eco-conscious are essential to the ethical precepts in yoga philosophy.

If you have any other eco-friendly practices and products, please share them with us so we can spread the word. Namaste and stay green.

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The Teachers

The diverse family of DC yoga teachers at Yoga District are dedicated to making yoga accessible to everyone through a huge variety of yoga class types, from vinyasa flow to restorative and beyond. Most Yoga District teachers are graduates of Yoga District’s nationally-attended 200 hour teacher training program. All Yoga District classes focus on coordinating breath with body movement to promote flexibility, strength, and peace of mind. We strongly believe in yoga as therapy, so catch one of our classes whenever you need a healthy dose of self-care.
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The Next Step

The Yoga District 200 and 500 hour teacher training certification programs, registered by the Yoga Alliance are unique in their emphasis on diversity of teaching styles studied, personal attention, and trauma sensitive yoga. It's no coincidence that Yoga District is regularly voted the leading studio in the nation's capital, and that most of its classes are taught by graduates of its training program. As a full time yoga school, small group trainings are led up to eight times a year by a dedicated faculty including Jasmine Chehrazi, contributor to the Harvard Karma Yoga Project teacher training, teacher training faculty at George Washington University, Yoga Alliance Standards Committee Advisory Board Member, Yoga Activist Founder, and Yoga Service Council Advisory Board Member. So take your practice and community involvement to the next level by joining a training. There's a reason why our graduates call the training "transformative."
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