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Connect in Compassion

Yoga teachers and practitioners from around the country want to help the victims of Katrina. Rather than feel hopeless, many yogis and yoginis are putting their compassion into action.

By YJ Staff

"Yoga Junction in Fairfield, CA will be donating all class proceeds in October from a new Community Flow Yoga class offered Sundays at 4:30pm, taught by Yoga Junction teacher training interns. For more information, call (707) 428-YOGI (9644) or visit"


"In Canada, we are not too close to reach out our hearts and hands to the people of the Katrina tragedy. But in some way I think the energy we can send them and the hope in our prayers will assist them in rising and surviving.

Maybe the lesson we can all learn and practice in our Yoga, is to keep that compassion all year round, and help out people who need us. This might be the family friend or relative who is alone, or maybe the neighbour next door.

Compassion will reach out as far as we want it to go. So I ask everyone - what are you doing to help in your own life?"


"I live in Longview, Texas. It is 60 miles west of Shreveport, LA. My teacher, Melanie Fawer owns a Mysore Ashtanga yoga studio in New Orleans. After the flood, the images, the awareness of the victims taking refuge in my town and state I felt the need to do something. My husband told me that my orignal plan of driving to New Orleans and sweeping up a momma and her babies would not work, since they would not let me in and I would likely not have gasoline to return. So, hopeless I then decided to call upon my students and friends. We held a compassion class in our teacher's honor on Labor Day weekend. It followed with a beautiful guided meditation on compassion by Jack Kornfeld. Students were moved to tears and gave donations from their heart. I visited the shelter and gave the money to the Red Cross. I had never guided a meditation prior to this one and it was an overwhelming experience. Allowing the pain and suffering of all those individuals to pass through my heart was something I had never experienced. The compassion that was generated was equally amazing. The money was tangible and would allow for material needs, but I am quite convinced the compassion sent out from our little community offered a spiritual healing. We will continue to focus on compassion and healing for our new neighbors, friends, the relief workers and Melanie."

Emily Harris Smith


"I just wanted to bring to your attention a very good charity, Sewa USA ("

Gautam Desai


"From my small sudio: All of the fall 2005 class fees to the Red Cross. Many of my students' employees are matching gifts to the Red Cross. See our site:

Our small town turned out the welcome mat. It was beautiful to see the caring and sharing. We were able to help 5 families get into new housing. Sharing blessings is wonderful."


"Namaste Yoga Studio in Tampa, Florida had a donations box for hurricane Katrina setup at the front of the studio from Sept 1 thru 9. We collected money from students. The studio doubled their money. The Pilates director doubled the money again, and then we gave to an organization that tripled that total amount.

In the end, the studio raised nearly $6,000 and gave that money to the American Red Cross for hurricane Katrina victims.

We are proud of our efforts and are happy to send the money to those who are in immediate need."

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