Yoga Community Efforts to help Haiti
Article by Karan Khalsa
In the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, many in the yoga community have united in an effort to help suffering victims. Yoga studios, instructors, and students alike have been eager to support relief efforts.
Many yoga studios across the US have been donating their class fees to Haitian relief funds. Instructors like Allison Conroy and John Tai of Urban Fitness Movement are holding classes on specific days of the week for the next few months with all money paid to be donated to the Red Cross Haiti Relief Operation. Rajashree Choudhury, wife of noted Bikram Yoga founder Bikram Choudry, recently held a Haiti Relief Fundraiser at Bikram Yoga Headquarters in Los Angeles. The grand total for the hour and a half class was ,000 with all proceeds being donated directly to Haiti. Yogis Anonymous, another well known Yoga Studio in California, held their yearly fundraiser for Yoga Gives Back, an organization dedicated to providing micro-financing for India. This year, however, the organization’s fund-raising efforts will be forwarded to aid initiatives in Haiti.
Other studios are providing donations beyond monetary means. For instance, Pad Yoga Studio in California recently caused quite the commotion after their sign requesting donations of yoga mats for Haiti was photographed and leaked online. The picture spread like wildfire across the internet. The notion seemed ridiculous. However, it was later clarified that the mats were being donated as a means of providing bedding for victims, a valued necessity for overcrowded hospitals.
Endeavors are also being made by the yoga community to provide emotional therapy through the very practice of yoga. Yoga4Trauma is a group dedicated to alleviating mental stress through yoga therapy. As such, they’ve set up their own support organization entitled Project Haiti in which yoga instructors, such as the Sue Jones of Yoga Hope and Maggie Juliano of Sprout Yoga, are leading a crew of yogis to deal with victims emotional trauma.
Spirit Voyage, a publisher of yoga music, released a digital compilation, Chants For Haiti. All of the proceeds are donated to Doctors without Borders earmarked for Haiti.
For many in the yoga community, the tragedy has re-awakened some empathy and a desire to attain ways to find peace in such a turbulent, poverty stricken area.
About the Author
The author writes for Spirit Voyage which is engaged in offering various kinds of yoga music and meditation music. The company offers different CDs and DVDs for practicing kundalini Yoga and other yoga forms.