Global Yoga Event Celebrates Peace

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Seven years ago, Shiva Rea started a worldwide movement called Global Mala, a day that yogis come together to raise money for important international causes. The events, which are now offered in partnership with National Yoga Month and Yoga for Peace, have grown through the years and have inspired yoga teachers and practitioners to generate much needed funds for organizations that support things like AIDS research, peace initiatives, the environment, and education. It always coincides with the Fall Equinox and the UN’s International Day of Peace.

The Global Mala imitates a beaded mala, a set of 108 beads most often used in Hindu and Buddhist meditation practice and adopted by many yogis. The idea behind the event is to form a "mala around the earth" through the various events, all of which will somehow use the sacred cycle of 108. The number 108 is considered to have spiritual significance, and so mantras are often chanted 108 times.

Below are some of the most exciting Global Mala Yoga for Peace events happening this year. To find an event near you, search here.

Global Mala NJ
Where: Newark, NJ
When: September 22
Supporting: Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts, autism, yoga in public schools, and the Community Foodbank
What’s Happening: This is the largest Global Mala event in the world. This year, it features Beryl Bender Birch, Fred DeVito, Tao Porchon-Lynch, Jillian Pransky, and more. There will be family yoga, Acro Yoga, and Trance Dance, among the offerings.

Raise the Vibration Global Mala 108
Where: Venice, CA
When: September 21
Supporting: Off the Mat's Ecuador Seva Challenge + Yoga Energy Activism Solaraid project
What’s Happening: This is where you’ll find Shiva Rea on Global Mala day this year, along with Hala Khouri. This yoga celebration will also feature music by Masood Ali Kahn, David "Duke" Mushroom, Sheila Bringi, Bob Wisdom, and DJ Fabian Alsultany.

4th Annual Milwaukee Global Mala
Where: Milwaukee, MI
When: September 21
Supporting: The Milwaukee Art Museum
What’s Happening: Sunrise yoga and meditation followed by 108 sun salutations and a late morning kirtan are all on the bill for this event, which happens in Windhover Hall, overlooking Lake Michigan.

Global Mala Project Manila
Where: Manila, Philippines
When: September 21
Supporting: Southeast Asian charities One Liter of Light, Trees for the Future, and The Tubbataha Foundation
What’s Happening: More than 20 different types of yoga classes (including Bikram, Jivamukti, Yoga Therapy, and Kundalini) will be offered, as well as Reiki and Theta Healing.