Unless you’re a yogi living in a cave, you’ve been privy to the gazillion ice bucket challenges gone viral to raise awareness and money for ALS research. Some videos have been hilarious, some have been epic fails, some have been emotionally moving, and some have even had a yoga theme. But, as a member of the yoga community, if you’re torn about the whole idea of dumping ice water on your head, whether it’s because you’d prefer not to waste water or you are concerned about animal testing, we’ve got a few yoga-y alternatives for you. Whatever you choose, your choice will pay it forward. And while these are presented as yoga alternatives, they’re really just alternatives for those wishing to make a difference through conscious action.
1. Try the Rice Bucket Challenge instead:
In India more than 100 million people lack access to clean drinking water, so instead of doing an ice bucket, Manju Kalanidhi came up with the Rice Bucket Challenge.
“Based on the photos, Kalanidhi estimates that at least 200 people have taken part and more than 4,000 pounds of rice have been donated. Another 4,850 pounds were donated Wednesday by 2,200 students at Apoorva Degree College in a town near Hyderabad, she says.” Read more at NPR.
2. Use toilet water:
If you’re planning to go ahead with the challenge but don’t want to waste clean water, be like Matt Damon and take it from your toilet. If you think that’s gross, toilet water in the west is actually cleaner than drinking water people in developing countries have access to.
3. Donate to a related cause (maybe with paws):
If you’re not into the challenge at all, show your support with your wallet. Some people, and yogis in particular, have voiced concern over animal testing in ALS research. One organization to donate to instead is Paws With A Cause. Their mission is to ”enhance the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs.”
4. Donate to a completely unrelated cause that is meaningful to you:
One of the best things to come out of this super trendy ice bucket challenge is the awareness around making donations to causes you care about and want to support. Maybe instead of ALS you donate to another organization today, or make a goal to donate regularly to a particular cause that is meaningful to you. It has to start somewhere and every little bit counts. Try the American Red Cross, Water.org, or maybe even the Yoga and Body Image Coalition.
5. BE the donation.
Not all donations have to be financial. Plenty of organizations, local charities and non-profits need help with volunteer work, either physically, or online. Volunteer your time, efforts or expertise and you will find it is invaluable to their cause.
Have more suggestions? Share them in the comments!