Interview with Phil Dickenson, the founder of Yoga For Nature.

Interview with Phil Dickenson, the founder of Yoga For Nature.

Born from a journey of self-discovery, compassion and acceptance, we've just launched our very exciting Chakra Collection in collaboration with the charity, Yoga For Nature. This handmade collection features 7 chakra symbol charms and coloured beads, each chakra corresponding to energy points within the body. 

We have asked the founder of the charity Yoga For Nature to answer a few questions, to give you an insight into the charity and how this collaboration came to fruition.

Hey Phil! Could you please briefly introduce yourself to our lovely Islanders? 

Hey Pineapple Island, I’m Phil the founder of Yoga For Nature.

We are curious to know when and why you started practicing yoga? 

I was in my late twenties and I guess I was curious. Yoga wasn’t the phenomena it is today and I didn’t know very much about it, but the idea of moving the body to bring stillness to the mind was really appealing.

Tell us a bit about your journey from discovery yoga in your late twenties to starting the charity, Yoga for Nature…

Before I founded a non profit, I was a television director. For a long time the job satisfied me in many ways, it was creative, it was cooperative. But as I came into my late thirties my perspective on life began to change from one of achieving to one of being. Ironically it was this mysterious practice I had started called Yoga, and looking back what I now understand as awareness, that began to excite me far more than the day-to-day predictability of my previous job. I began asking those impossibly hard existential questions like, 'Who am I?', 'What is the meaning of life?' and of course the answer couldn’t be found by my thinking, reasoning mind. Then one evening after practicing Yoga, I was laying in Savasana and in a split second I had the idea of Yoga For Nature which is to share meaningful stories with the global Yoga community and advocate for social change.

It sounds like you've been on quite a journey to get to where you are today! What are you most proud of the organisation achieving so far?

To be honest with you, I don’t allow myself much time to feel proud. When your organisation is advocating for the environment, human and animal rights, towards a goal of achieving sustainability and peace, it’s kind of difficult to feel accomplished.

There’s obvious stuff like within a year of our launch, Yoga For Nature was collaborating with the UN on the refugee crisis, and by documenting the stories of people who had sought asylum, we bought empathy and compassion to a horribly politicised issue. I guess a less obvious answer to your question would be that Yoga For Nature is a shining example of the entire practice, we advocate for an enlightened world where all beings are cared for and loved.

Wow, you've achieved quite a lot by the sounds of it. Even though you might not feel proud yet, we are definitely proud of you!

We would like to know a bit more about why you chose to collaborate with Pineapple Island?

I have to say that the universe played a key role there. Basically, Nathan and I crossed paths in Bali and we started talking. He told me about the philosophy of his company, Pineapple Island, and about ‘Freedom Trade’; empowering the crafts people to make their own decisions and not binding them with rigorous rules and contracts. He spoke about the idea of Chakra bracelets which opened up the conversation to include human rights and yoga. Besides our philosophies matching so nicely, Nathan has a great energy and perhaps unknowingly called himself a Yogi as he was all about supporting our organisation.

Some may say fate brought you two together!

Chakra is something that fits quite well with the practice of Yoga. What would you say to someone who has never heard of Chakras before?

There’s seven main Chakras, which are the energy centres in the human body and although they can’t be seen, eastern philosophy and the practice of Yoga has documented their significance for thousands of years. The remarkable thing is that each of the chakras corresponds with a different aspect of the physical and emotional body, so when we increase the flow of energy to our chakras we can profoundly support our overall health and happiness. 

So, how does Yoga influence your Chakras?

Depending on the intention you bring to your practice, the flow of energy to your chakras can be inhibited or promoted. For example if your intention is to be better at arm balances, back bends or yoga in general, you’ll be self critical or self congratulatory and prioritise the ego above the subtle energetic body. Whereas, if you simply focus on your breath, you’ll bypass the ego and prioritise the movement of prana, which will unlock the energetic potential of your chakras.

How would someone buying a chakra bracelet know which one is right for them?

Well you could see which bracelet you’re drawn to because even without knowing the physical and emotional traits of each, your intuition found at the third eye chakra could very quickly make that decision for you. Alternatively, you can do your research and see which of the Chakras is important to you. 

Ultimately like life itself, all our chakras are connected and if one is depleted it affects the energy of the whole…so I would say buy them all!