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The Environmental Wellbeing Toolkit

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Walking, group activities such as aerobics, yoga and pilates, and swimming are the most popular forms of exercise for Australians, and they are green alternatives when practiced within environmentally friendly practices.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, some 23 percent of the Australian population walks to keep fit, while 14 percent participates in group activities and 7 percent swim.

These activities can also be considered as environmentally friendly, especially if fitness facilities use technology that reduces their carbon footprint.

Jane Ribinskas, director of Yoga Concepts and teacher of Stillness Meditation, Japanese Jikyu Jitsu, and Reiki, developed an online yoga studio that considers the Australian environment as it aims to increase the health and fitness of its students.

“As a result of requests from my students who weren’t able to make it to my studio, due to work commitments, I decided to create an online concept. I realised I was producing an environmentally friendly “wellbeing tool kit” that would improve my carbon footprint,” said Ribinskas.

Ribinskas, who has been in the health and fitness industry for 25 years, says that she saw the way technology was moving and that this was the perfect way to continually motivate her students.

“Yoga Concepts’ students learn to get to know themselves from within, at a mind, body and soul connection level,” said Ribinskas. “They learn to get to know how they are using their mind. How they are feeling. And, how they are reacting to what is presented to them in life. This process teaches them about their stress patterns and how to let them go.”

“It is being conscious of  patterns that trigger negative behaviour such as eating habits or avoidance of exercise, which can lead to weight gain, and then knowing  how to apply positive behaviours that keeps individuals motivated,” she said.

“Yoga Concepts uses “the knowing flow” of Vinyasa Yoga sequences. These are dynamic and flowing physical practices where individuals build physical strength, flexibility, and stamina, as well as tone the body and naturally lose weight,” Ribinskas said. “We focus on individuals nourishing their whole person and not just on the physical form. When individuals see their life changing in positive ways at home and  work, and within relationships, they then begin to see a great body emerge and they stay very motivated.”

Jane Ribinskas says that her own health and fitness journey began some 20 years ago after a challenging period in her own life.

“Learning and applying the physical practices and fine-tuning my positive wisdom has lead to my own personal development, which just gets better and better. I’m a mature woman living in a pain free body and I am able to jump around on the yoga mat like a kid. In fact people don’t think I’m anywhere near the age that I am,” said Ribinskas. “I’m healthy and happy, and stay inspired as a result of living the life that I live. It is easy to stay motivated when you’re positive, it’s all just a state of mind. I also receive constant feedback from my students about how their lives keep changing in positive ways too.”

Ribinskas is environmentally aware in her yoga practices and also in her own life.

“From an environmental perspective, I’m conscious of how I shop, dispose of waste and generally live. I walk or catch a tram, rather than drive, so that I help to cultivate a green external environment,” said Ribinskas. “However, my key focus for the environment is to learn to sustain my inner green environment, meaning that I sustain mental and physical health, and a peaceful, healthy lifestyle. When one is fit and healthy, on all levels, there is less need to impact on the medical health system as you stay well. When your mind is healthy you naturally are attracted to lifestyle options that are environmentally friendly.”

This is a practice that Ribinskas allows to flow on to her students.

“I encourage others by allowing them to know that their own individual efforts will collectively impact and make a positive difference,” said Ribinskas, “I’ve heard people ask, ‘what difference am I going to make on the environment, as I am just one person? I am overwhelmed,” she said. “My response is that one spec of sand in isolation can easily be lost, however a beach is made up of lots of collective specs of sand, so if everyone collectively takes action then we will all make a positive difference environmentally.”

“As a society the more healthy and happy we become on an physical, emotional, and psychological level, the more positive the impact at an environmental level,” said Ribinskas.

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