No one can ignore the warning signs from mother earth any longer. Our actions today decide how bad our future will be. The death toll of heat, drought, fires and rising oceans keeps growing exponentially, evidence is overwhelming. Very soon we may trigger an unstoppable global self-heating cycle if we don’t wake up from our never-ending beach-life dream.

It seems like most humans can learn to ignore the suffering of millions. Yet no matter how cold-hearted we become, deep inside we can’t escape the responsibility for our own actions and inactions. Let us not look back when it is too late. You DID know what you were doing. 

You DO know that your happiness is not in Thailand or India. It has never been and will never be. It is within you, wherever you are. You will find it as soon as you break out of the prison of ignorance and see the beauty around you. Right in front of your eyes.

My wish is a gift from all of us to our planet and all beings: STOP AIR TRAVEL! Maybe for a year at first, see it as a sabbatical, a challenge if you want. Cancel your flights if necessary, take trains and don’t look back. Make it an active decision. 

We did an extremely simplistic survey at our Shala. The average participant emits an estimated amount of 8,7 tons CO2 for about one long distance and two short distance return flights every year.
This may not even seem very much to some of us, but it is 15 times higher than the already obscene German average*. It is enough for entering the top 1% negative elite of global polluters (the impact of your diet simply makes ZERO difference at such levels). Stop comparing yourself with the few that are worse. Compare yourself with most other humans on this planet.

A little bonus track for Yoga teachers: You can easily take a leap to the absolute “creme de la creme” (of destruction) by organizing just a single Yoga retreat abroad. Will we still think of unforgettable moments when we eventually realize what harm we have done to the planet and all it’s inhabitants? If we still have a soul we will feel deeply depressed about our ignorance. Money. Money. Money.

Air travel is estimated to be responsible for 5-10% of man made greenhouse effect. Yet it is mainly for the fun and profit of just very very few obscenely rich humans. Us.
90% of human world population has never travelled by plane. Yet those are the very ones who suffer most from the invisible side effects of _our_ behavior and heritage. We know. And we just keep making things worse.

“Hey, I want a banana lassi! What, 30 rupees? Are you crazy? This place sucks, how can they take so much money here! Oh, it’s too hot here! Damn, how can they live here… Let’s go north, much better there now… Train? No way, flying is sooo cheap. Only 10.000 rupees to Delhi, dirt cheap! …….. How can they fuckin’ live here all year… if I were them I would go somewhere else…. are you coming back next winter, too? What about Vietnam? Even cheaper and also better beaches… where else have you been?”. Traveler talk on a random beach in Goa. Unrealistic? We are not like that of course. Not even a little?

Let us end our denial and ignorance, I beg you. Let us grow and find happiness inside of us.
Let us get together and build a better society based on meaning rather than
materialism. Right here and now. Let us break down the prison walls of ego and
habits. Let us see the interdependency of all beings. Let us enter the true
path of Yoga based on Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya and Aparigraha.

Some good news:
Over the last weeks and months I have heard from more and more friends and
practitioners that they have stopped air travel completely. Even a few Yoga
teachers decided to stop teaching retreats in remote locations because they
also realized how wrong it is to earn money by exploiting the future of our
children. Hurray, you are wonderful, you truly make a difference!!!!

How did YOU overcome escapism? Was it a struggle or not? How do you now feel about it?
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Merry Christmas
with Love, Grischa

* CO2 calculations from Bundesumweltamt: