The Rise of the ECO Yogi


Rachel Zinman YogaIt’s been building for a while now. This feeling that something needs to be done. I can’t ignore the signposts. My friends are camping out at CSG blockades, marching against outrageous political policies or heading off to save endangered Orangutang’s in Borneo. 

I’ve liked a whole bunch of vegan, environmentally, socially minded pages, signed numerous petitions and donated funds to enable others to stand at the front lines. AND still I feel there’s more to do. 

I’ve been carrying that thought around for a while now. Its a habit. I come from a  family of doers, donators and progressive thinkers. My grandmothers were communists and pantheists. My grandfathers bankers and merchants. While half of me is socially minded and a nature lover the other half wants to offer products in the marketplace that facilitate change.

ecowarriors rise filmLast night we went to see THE RISE OF THE ECO WARRIORS. The director and writer of the film Cathy Henkel, a dear friend, spied us in the audience and insisted we get a decent seat. “This is an important film and I want you guys to be able to see it,” She was right. This is a film everybody should see.

From the outset I was drawn into the subject because the characters-eco warriors from all over the world-are absolutely determined to make a difference to the eco system of the planet. They’re colourful young people, who care and are willing to go into the jungle, face fears and work hard to bring awareness to issues that affect each and every one of us. 

And what are the issues? The deforestation of indigenous forests, the endangerment of a way of life for native cultures and the plight of Orangutang’s who have nowhere to live once their forests are destroyed.

Orangutang's in BorneoThe film exposes how insanely fast our forests are disappearing, how hard it is to raise awareness and get funding, and how hard the native people are fighting for their land. 

And why ? So I can keep my house clean, wash my body and eat my snacks. I had no idea how many things contain palm oil. And I’m supposed to be a socially minded eco conscious yogi.

We passed Cathy on the way out congratulating her on the film. “ I made this film to raise awareness, if even 10 people call their local Coles or Woolworth’s and ask them to stop stocking a particular product containing palm oil. they will listen.”  It was a heartening thought

Later that night a the years of living dangerouslypost from 350.0rg came on my Facebook feed. The first episode of a new series on Showtime was being released “ The Years of Living Dangerously” In the series, produced by Arnold Schwarzanegger, socially minded actors like Harrison Ford and Don Cheadle head out into the world to speak with leading scientists and local communities to see the effect that Climate Change is having on their every day lives. It’s easy for us to see it as happening over there rather then right here. 

But none of us can really turn a blind eye as over there is definitely encroaching on right here by the second.

Instead of watching another Pharrel Williams cover for “Happy” on YouTube I’ve decided to turn my Facebook scrolling into a conscious practice-clicking through to the suggested websites at the end of both films and raising my awareness of the products that don’t really help me to be cleaner fresher and happier. 

There’s a saying out there; “Happiness is an inside job.” But really it’s so much more then that. Happiness is who we are. It’s not something we can get or have. If anything was the source of happiness we’d all be lining up around the planet for it. We’ve been lead to believe that happiness is personal. What appears to make me happy can’t make you happy and visa versa, thats why we feel the need for so many different things.

Rachy-107Happiness isn’t complicated and neither are we. We are given the gift of awareness. If you practice yoga you would have had it drummed into you by now to become aware of your thoughts. To focus and harness the mind which in turn relieves stress. We might not understand exactly how this formula works, but we definitely feel the benefits. 

In the same way social awareness needs to become a finely crafted tool.

What do you do with a tool once its perfected? Do you stick it in the garage and forget about it? Absolutely not. You use it to shape and craft beautiful things. And you and me and our planet and its eco systems with its life giving water and air are creation’s masterpiece. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all used our awareness to keep it so.

To find out more about what you can do to inform yourself visit the following sites

5 thoughts on “The Rise of the ECO Yogi

  1. This is such a beautiful piece of writing and one which I hope reaches many many people, Rach. Thank you for sharing your heartfelt thoughts and facilitating a reality check for us all, an important reminder xx

  2. thank you for the article! The film’s trailer is on our website – – and we’re asking everyone to take a simple action on our partner sites for saving orangutans and wildness in this world – for example, on We’re also wide open to community groups who want to organise their own screenings, so please get in touch – To do one thing is better than to do nothing at all, and you’ve taken the first steps to being palm oil aware, so thanks for coming along!

  3. Great post. How do we turn the tables so the eco voices are the dominant voices that are heard, over the din of eat more & buy more & get younger & look more beautiful & consume til you drop?

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