As we move into this holiday season there’s a buzz in the air and life moves quickly. Thoughts this week are on how large the turkey will be and what accoutrements will be around it. Slowing down for the day to spend time with family and friends is typically de rigueur followed by more eating, watching tv, playing games, shopping and so on. These are typical American traditions that many, if we are lucky enough to be surrounded by an abundance of food and love, partake in. What happens to those who aren’t so lucky?
If you have ever volunteered during the holidays at a shelter or soup kitchen you will know that not everyone is fortunate to have a simple holiday meal. There are eight limbs of yoga, the first one called “yama” which deals with one’s ethical standards, sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior, and how we conduct ourselves through life; do unto others as you would have them do onto you. The five yamas are ahimsa meaning nonviolence, satya meaning truthfulness, asteya meaning non-stealing, brahmacharya meaning continence, and aparigraha meaning noncovetousness. This limb of yoga talks about who you are off the mat. There is an instructor who breaks it down simply as the internal experience of yoga and the external experience. We get on the mat to do our own practice and to also take it off the mat; what do you do with your yoga in the external world?
This is called “seva” or Punjabi in Sanskrit, a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for performing it. Such services can be performed to benefit other human beings or society. The idea of selfless service is important in several religions because God is perceived as having an interest in the well-being of others as oneself. However, it doesn’t matter what religion if any you practice, lending a hand to someone who needs it, as you may be that person one day, is never a bad idea. Recently hearing a local yoga instructor say that they want to take yoga to inner city schools citing “I think yoga shouldn’t just be for the privileged.”
The idea of charity work sometimes overwhelms us, we are just one person with little extra time. The work doesn’t have to overwhelm but as with the physical practice of yoga be consistent and mindful. As we creep up on the holidays there are more opportunities to get involved in your local community with food and toy drives. If you can’t do that, any little bit of effort helps. You can organize your own event for the community or friend in need, attend one, loan a friend $20, wash your neighbors’ car, pay for their yoga class, or simply smile at someone. This can all have the capacity to change someones day, year, or life. Don’t ever doubt how much significance every word and every action has.
We at Kodawari understand our place in the community and are grateful to be a part of it. We have various charity driven events such as:
“Soho Sessions: Yoga for Lockhart Elementary” December 8, 2016 6-7:30 p.m.-Soho Cycling and Kodawari Studios team up for a beautiful evening of yoga, house music, and giving back!! Join Kodawari’s Melissa Vogt as she leads an hour long 26&2 Bikram yoga practice accompanied with deep house sound provided by Tampa’s own Jask!! 100% of all proceeds raised will go to Lockhart Elementary’s music program. It’s an opportunity to make movement, music and meaning come together!
“Seva Offering-Donation Based Class”-Every Sunday at Kodawari we have a donation based class led by a different instructor.
Written by Kristen Carla Blogger/Acupuncture Physician www.facebook.com/kristencarla
Kodawari Studios 3965 S. Henderson Blvd. Suite C, Tampa, Fl 33629