service is the next step

How can I move beyond myself and begin to change and transform the world? How do take what I’ve gained from my personal yoga practice and give back? Seane Corn and Mark Lilly explore these questions and much more in this super inspiring video from the ‘Yoga, Mindfulness & Service Summit,’ which took place at the Omega Institute on May 17-21.

This summit sounds completely fascinating, but I couldn’t find any more information on it. I’d love to hear more about the speakers and workshops ~ if anyone out there attended, please make a comment about your experience!

Living a life of service is one of my ideals, and I try to embody this in my yoga teaching. This happens in an overt way through the free community classes I offer at the Mile End Mission, but I can still bring this ideal into the private sessions for which I receive pay. Simply being present and compassionate is service. However, I still feel that I’m at the “individual = interesting” phase and not quite moving into the “collective = revolution” level.

On the collective level, I’m really inspired by the efforts of Yoga Bear, a non-profit organization which provides free yoga classes for post-treatment cancer survivors. With the combination of being organized and having a long-term vision, Yoga Bear can make a difference in people’s lives at a collective level. And hopefully I can serve them just a little bit by mentioning them here and increasing their chances of winning $3K!

**(obligatory tagline) This blog post is part of Zemanta’s “Blogging For a Cause” campaign to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes that bloggers care about.

  1. I had the supreme pleasure of attending this summit with several other individuals who are all doing amazing work, and it was clear that separately we could accomplish good things, but together as a collaborative group we could accomplish beyond GREAT things! The sense of collaboration and support that I carried away from this summit has continued in my work with yogahope and in the Boston community at large. I am looking forward to being an inspirational voice on yoga and service and one of the members of the Yoga Service Council steering committee!!


  2. Hi Roseanne!
    I attended the Yoga, Mindfulness & Service Summit at Omega last week on behalf of Radha Yoga Youth Outreach, a not for profit group that offers yoga classes to youth in need in Ottawa, Ontario. I was very inspired to meet other teachers from across the US and one other from Canada who are also offering yoga to marginalized populations (e.g., incarcerated youth, women in addiction-recovery, youth living in poverty). This summit was more than just a chance to meet one another. Those of us present, including Mark Lilly (featured in your lovely video) founded the Yoga Service Council. Its mission: “Support individuals and organizations to best serve and empower their communities through yoga and mindfulness practice.”

    It is exciting times for the yoga community. It feels as though capitalism has taken yoga just as far as it is going to go (remember Jeremy Piven’s rude and egotistical character in Entourage doing yoga in his office?). It’s popularity is astounding. So many different people are reaping the benefits. But now its time to crank that up a notch. For me, the true magic of yoga began to unfold this year when I started offering classes to youth in need. By trying to offer classes as humbly as I can, I have learnt so much about my own light and darkness and the true light that connects me to all other beings.

    This council’s aim is to not only promote yoga as an empowering healing modality but to also educate those in the yoga community about offering the light of yoga in some of the darkest places in their own communities. I think that everyone who tries it will be just as surprised as I was to learn that in those darkest places, its where the light can shine the brightest!

    hari om
    Michael McCarthy
    Radha Yoga Youth Outreach Coordinator, Ottawa, Ontario

  3. Thanks, Sue & Michael! Please keep me posted on the development of the Yoga Service Council.

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