Update! I received another donation, which brings up the total to $972!
Yoga was created in India and continues to be a part of India’s vibrant history and culture. As a lover of yoga, as a beneficiary of yoga, I felt compelled to reach out to my communities and direct our energy towards aiding India in the current Covid-19 Crisis.
India is in the throes of an unparalleled emergency with the world’s highest tally of Covid-19 cases and number of deaths, each day. India’s health infrastructure is flailing--there simply isn’t enough medical care or oxygen.
My livelihood continues to be greatly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. I don't have a ton of extra cash right now. But I have my heart, my mind, my energy and my body. That's why I dedicated the past two weeks to raising money for India. In addition to my asana and meditation, I practiced Karma Yoga, the yoga of action and selfless service.
I currently teach several sliding scale classes via Zoom. For the week of May 9 - 15, I told all my class participants that any money they paid me during that week would be given to the American India Foundation to support their great work in India for Covid-19 Relief. Many of my participants donated more than usual to support this effort. That week I raised $460.00. (Thank you!)
Next, I lead a donation-based class at mang'Oh yoga on May 22nd. Some of my community donated even though they couldn't attend the class. I raised $477 for that class. (Thank you!)
Today I pooled those sums together and donated $937 to the American India Foundation's Covid-19 Response. AIF has a three-pronged Emergency Response Strategy Phase 2 to address this crisis. The AIF is rated 100% for Transparency and Accountability by Charity Navigator.
Update: I received another donation for $35 from a longtime mang'Oh yoga student, which brings our total up to $972!
It is so easy to feel overwhelmed by the demands of our own lives, let alone the sorrows of the world. Sometimes we really do need to turn off the news, unplug, protect our peace and focus on our own healing.
Through contemplation, meditation, journaling and studying the wisdom traditions of our people, we realize that we are all interconnected. We can connect to a greater field of belonging and loving.
When we dig into a yoga and/or meditation practice, when we ground and steady ourselves, our hearts start to get stronger and more open.
"You develop a trust in the strength of your being and a trust in your ability to open and extend yourself to others. You realize that you are rich and resourceful enough to give selflessly to others, and as well, you find that you have tremendous willingness to do so."
--Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche
We have a responsibility to take care of each other.
I am an introvert and highly sensitive. I often feel overwhelmed. Meditation is a really important tool for me to restore, center and move beyond my fear so that I can go forth into the world. One of my favorite quotes from the Bhagavad Gita often helps energize me:
Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving and full of the desire to serve. Realize the truth of the scriptures. Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation. Do not get angry or harm any living creature, but be compassionate and gentle; show good will to all. Cultivate vigor, patience, will, purity, avoid malice and pride. Then Arjuna, you will achieve your divine destiny.
Bhagavad Gita 16:1
Thank you to all my community members for their generosity in this endeavor!
May all beings be happy and free of suffering. May my actions support the awakening of all.
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior. Author: Chögyam Trungpa. Edited by Carolyn Rose Gimian. Pg 72.
The Bhagavad Gita. Author: Eknath Easwaran
Image source: Article: India 1st to pass 400,000 COVID cases in single day by Ashok Sharma, Associated Press