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How Do You Help Others through Yoga?

As the world is still reeling from the recent tragedy in Haiti I have been moved this week by seeing so many people pull together to find ways to help. In the yoga community, many local yoga studios are offering benefit classes for the victims, clothing collections, and donation funds. I encourage each of you to participate in whatever way you can.

For me, this has also brought up a bigger question that I have had kicking around in my head recently: How can I help?

Not just how can I help with this most recent devastation, but how can I help others in an ongoing way? I know teachers who teach ailing hospital patients, at-risk teens, prisoners, and many others in need. I know its now time for me to take this on as well.

And, for this, I realize I need a bit of guidance and inspiration:

What do you do to help others through your yoga teaching? Were trainings helpful / needed? How did you connect with the people and organizations that you are helping?

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Comments

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I am not a Yoga teacher, but I do spend most of my time writing and blogging about Yoga.

Your question is a challenging one for me because I'm not at all drawn to the traditional ways of giving--that is, getting out there and joining charitable organizations and giving my time to them. I consider it a bit of a character weakness that I don't do this, to tell you the truth.

I've tried to make up for it by doing the things I like to do in as generous a way as I can. Right now that means helping anyone who's interested learn more about Yoga, particularly the spiritual and inner-self side of Yoga. It also means developing rich relationships on the Yoga blogosphere and helping fellow blogospherers wherever I can be helpful.

This will never turn me into a Jimmy Carter, but I guess it's better than not caring at all.

Thanks for the provocative question.

Bob Weisenberg
http://YogaDemystified.com

Two projects I'm working on right now are:

1) to start a yoga center at university cancer center - the goal is to make yoga (and other integrative medicine) available to patients (and medical staff), and

2) to figure out how to create a sustainable, free yoga program in a community. So many people who would really benefit from the practice of yoga do not have access to it. I am currently in the brainstorming process, if anyone would like to talk more about how to do this, please let me know!

Christina
http://prescribingyoga.blogspot.com

For months I looked at all the yellow ribbons encouraging us all to support the troops and felt helpless. The day I decided to teach veterans with PTSD I felt a load lift from my own shoulders. After almost a year of dead ends and unanswered phone calls, I am finally teaching in a Veterans Center associated with a VA hospital. If you can find a way to use your talents to help others, I promise you will receive as much or more joy as you give!
With regards to Haiti, have you read Mountains beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder? If you do I'm sure you will be inspired to donate to Partners In Health. Every little bit counts.

Thanks for this platform Hannah:)

I teach Yoga NIdra (Yogic Sleep) and I am donating 25% of my proceeds to American Humane's Second Chance Fund (to help rehabilitate abused animals). I found them and connected through a newsletter that I get. I read a story about one of their doggy beneficiary's and was moved to help anyway I could.

I know that if we can help ourselves and learn to be more compassionate with each other the abuse will stop. It's sort've a "kill two birds with one stone" kind of campaign as Yoga Nidra offers a deeper sense of "all is well" with life because you allow the things you want in life to come to you when you are in this relaxed state. When we feel like anything is possible, we treat ourselves and others better.

-Aurora

I like that question ,and as a Yoga Instructor I am looking at ways to help my own community.
I decided to teach a free commuity yoga class in my neighborhood, where yoga is non existent for people who can not afford yoga, and I also give all the proceeds of 1 yoga class a month to the Jambange program in India .

Yoga is about been of service...sometimes the best way to serve is through the quiet simple acts - smiling at a lonely neighbour, offering a helping hand to a mother laden down with shopping and a buggy. The more we practice and sit in silence, the easier it is for our inner guide to guide us to the place of service the world requires from us. Enjoy the journey and keep us posted of how it unfolds. Stay blessed

While I am not a yoga teacher (yet!) I am pleased as punch to be an Ambassador for this years Power of Movement - the world's largest yoga fundraiser in support of arthritis and autoimmune research.

As a sibling to someone who suffers from an autoimmune disease, I know first hand how debilitating they can be. It was an easy choice for me to get involved in this event as it has allowed me to combine my passion for yoga, while raising funds to support those I love.

The tagline for the challenge is that "anyone can do yoga" and I think this is a very important and powerful message. While some may be debilitated physically, even the practice of meditation or leading a life of mindfulness can be likened to doing or living yoga.

I would love to see more yoga type fundraisers in the future to help raise awareness for important issues and to introduce more people to yoga.

- Alana

We are not a yoga studio but a holistic healing center, we support a lot of local charities as well as international aide relief. We offer yoga and find that it attracts a great group of people always wiling to give when they can and we find giving our time to these causes is the best way we can help make a difference.

I started a non-profit in November teaching yoga to survivors of gender-based violence in post/conflict regions. Once completed with the training, graduates are able to apply for teaching grants and teach in their own communities. So far, we have partnerships in Sri Lanka, Uganda & are in talks with organizations in Burundi/DRC.

Interested in volunteering? Contact www.mandalahouse.org!


be well.

I have been a teacher of meditation since 1971. And have recently tacked a yoga notebook online.

With the intention of using Patanjali's Yoga Sutra as a guiding light . . . and giving everyone an opportunity of adding their own notes, questions, thoughts, musings, insights and inspirations.

Michael
http://www.ayoganotebook.com



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