“By doing service, you purify the heart. Egoism, hatred, jealousy, the idea of superiority and all the kindred negative qualities will vanish. Humility, pure love, sympathy, tolerance and mercy will be developed. The sense of separateness will be annihilated. Selfishness will be eradicated. You will get a broad and liberal outlook on life. You will begin to feel oneness and unity.” ~ Sri Swami Sivananda
Sign me up! Is there a form behind the reception desk for THAT? Oh, wait, I’m the one that creates those forms and no, we don’t have one of those; if only. I imagine we’d be in a constant shortage of paper and toner as everyone would likely want to sign up for all that goodness! Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as filling out a waiver or an application. That’s too bad because that quote contains a mighty powerful collection of thoughts and ideas, that, if each of us could embody, would ultimately make the world a better place.
We live in a time filled with hatred, greed, struggle and strife. These run rampant around the globe. The more rampant they run, the more we hear pleas for change. Pleas for more peace. Pleas for more love. Pleas for unity.
On the heels of those pleas, despair can also be heard. Change is needed, but it seems so overwhelming a problem, that it’s often times easier to throw our hands in the air and do nothing. It’s easier to say ‘I can’t make a difference. It’s too big a problem. I’m just one person – why should I even try? Where would I even start? What can I do?’
Because we often don’t know what to do or where to start, we resort to spreading a message. We find something that resonates with the change we seek and we sing it from the roof-tops. We plaster it on social media. We share it and tag our like-minded friends on Facebook. We #hashtagitoninstagram. You can get a plate, a mug, window decals, bumper stickers, t-shirts, door mats, your yoga mat…heck, even your underwear – all can be found or even personalized with a one-line inspirational quote that makes us feel like we stand for something. It helps us spread that message and we hope that someone else resonates with it and that the ripple effect takes hold. It can and sometimes it does.
Quotes, shares, likes and hashtags aren’t enough. If we want to see change, we must “be the change you wish to see in the world” ~Gandhi (see what I did there?) This is where the “service” from the opening quote can come into play. If we begin to add more service based activities into our lives, we can not only change ourselves, we can change our communities. As our communities change, eventually, the world can change, too. Seva, in Sanskrit means selfless service or work performed without any expectation of reward or payment. Though there is no expectation, when we perform seva, we inadvertently DO receive payment – we help our own spiritual growth in parallel with helping the community around us. Think about, don’t you feel a sense of ease, peace, and joy when you do something selfless for someone else? Doesn’t that then translate into the rest of your day? Now, imagine what that does for the receiver and how they may then give back, as well.
Seva acts can be any number of things. They can be as simple as a love note on the mirror for a loved one or collecting the mail for an elderly neighbor. Seva can be larger in scale like clothing or food drives for homeless shelters in your community. The sky is really the limit.
What does all this have to do with a yoga studio? Top off your tea, grab a protein bite and keep reading, please.
When founding Kodawari, Annette’s vision has always been to build a great community space. She loves being of service to her fellow humans, as can be witnessed if you spend any time being loved by her on the massage table or #sweatingwithannette (I did it again. See that?) in one of her ass-kicking yoga classes. Every offering she brings to this space has been done so with that original intent in mind – to build community. Kodawari brings you plenty of opportunities to be part of a wonderful community via our regular yoga and café offerings – now, it’s time to take it to the next level. To take it to the streets, in a manner of speaking. We want to extend some seva to you AND to our community in a multi-faceted effort.
How on Earth do we plan to do that? Follow along my little yogis and yoginis. It’s a domino effort.
Beginning September 18th from 12 – 1:15 pm, we will be offering a donation based yoga class – no charge, we just ask that you make a small donation, if possible. This “Seva Offering” will take place every Sunday and will be taught by different teachers each week who have also opted to donate their time. One weekend a month, we will focus on a specific local charity and run a drive to collect needed supplies to support them in furthering their mission to aid our community. All donations received for Seva Offering classes during a month will also go to that charity, as well.
For September all donations go to Feeding Tampa Bay’s Youth Backpack Program through “Conscious Coconut.” Every dollar raised feeds 10 local children. Children are the future. If they are hungry they can’t grow, learn, and blossom. If they don’t grow, learn, and blossom, how can they continue the change we seek?
Kodawari’s first donation based yoga class is Sunday September 18th from noon-1:15
Written by Lori Royalty
Kodawari Studios 3965 S. Henderson Blvd, Suite C Tampa, Florida 33629