By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed
Cultivating a sense of community service in a Yoga class becomes quite natural and easy if you have already set the tone for the deep appreciation of the abundance and blessings that surround us at all times. In many traditional Hindu and Buddhist cultures, it is a mark of the accumulation of good karma or merits that propels a seeker towards the quest for enlightenment or oneness with the Divine pulsation that permeates the universe. Sometimes, we practice Yoga to simply feel better and be healthier. However, the ultimate goal of Yoga is the experience of the Divine pulsation in our own hearts, and many seekers have experienced a lifting of the veil of the heart through seva or selfless service.
When we become aware of the many blessings that surround us on a daily basis, we, as Yoga instructors and students, are naturally moved towards wanting to offer service back to our own communities as well as the world at large. This community service may come in many forms. One way to offer community service as a teacher is to teach one class a week on a donation basis. In this way, you will be offering your wisdom and expertise as an instructor to students who may not otherwise be able to afford to attend a regularly-priced class. The time and energy with which you prepare to teach a class is also another way that you can offer community service to your Yoga students.
As a teacher, if you have been cultivating a sense of abundance and gratitude in your Yoga classes, it will become very natural to invite your students to create and participate in an offering of community service. The opportunities for community service projects are limited only by one’s imagination. By offering community service, your students may also experience an increase in the flow of blessings in their own lives as their hearts, minds and actions align with an inner vibration of compassion, giving and kindness.
Community service can take a variety of different forms. During the holiday season, many children and families may be in need of warm clothes, food items and toys. Initiating a drive at your local Yoga studio for some of these items is an easy way for students to offer some of the abundance they have received back to their community. Or you may wish to suggest a few projects at the end of class, and then invite your students to suggest some community service projects of their own. In this way, your students will feel invested in the project that is chosen and empowered to make a difference in their world.
© Copyright 2012 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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