Share Your Opinion: Activism

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Read responses from YJ readers:

Sharing the good news of yoga and the christian dynamic that will
nurture their spiritual walk with God. Also, volunteering with Hospice and providing massage therapy and Karma Yoga with my patients. Always sharing the gift of massage and movement through yoga with all people in need regardless of ability to pay.

—Alice

I volunteer for a non-profit organization called the Karen Wyckoff Rein in Sarcoma Foundation. This organization is committed to raising money to find a cure for sarcoma cancers (which are rare and get little research funds), educating future physicians on sarcomas, and supporting sarcoma survivors, their families, and loved ones who have lost someone to sarcoma. As a sarcoma cancer survivor myself (osteosarcoma) this cause is near & dear to me. I also do this in memory of two dear friends who lost their battles with osteosarcoma. Thank you.

—Janet

I teach baby massage to high school moms. Plus as a P.T. I do a lot of volunteer work. The kids are our future.

—Kathleen

as a social worker i am committed to helping fight injustice. so i volunteer for HRC- the Human Rights Campaign- a national organization that works for equality for all. i also try to get ploticians elected who are concerned about equal rights and the environment.

—Heidi

Support animal rights and work hard to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Also donate whatever I can afford to the One charity.

—Trey

I am strongly committed on a grass roots level to women infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. I sometimes teach yoga to recovering women drug addicts, most of whom are infected with Hepatitis C. I also do street theatre about ecological issues with a small troupe. I play mother earth.

—Jo

I work for a child advocacy organization that creates awareness, takes action and changes policy on behalf of disadvantaged children and youth.

—Anne

I work for Animal Rights supporting no-kill shelters and educating the public about responsible pet ownership.

—Patti

I am an attorney in NY and a survivor of domestic violence. For the last two years, I have been contributing my services to several local organizations that help survivors of domestic violence. I also write columns in different newspapers to create more awareness about domestic violence. Through increased awareness and education, we can empower women to eradicate this social disease that affects millions of women, regardless of race, religion, or income.

—Bijal

I am a vegan and work at an animal advocacy organization in Philadelphia. At work and in my personal life, I spend a large amount of time working towards animal liberation. I believe that all suffering is interconnected, and with the liberation of one comes the liberation of all.

—Nicole

I probably don't do as much as I could, but I support animal rights organizations, no-kill animal shelters, and try to be a living example of how wonderful veganism and compassion are.

—Anna

I volunteer with the girls scouts. I have two girls and initially it allowed me to do fun stuff with them within a group of girls their age. I noticed how girls dropped out by 6th and 7th grade. I initiated, at our service unit level, a program to retain older girls in scouting. The service unit director recently told me that a lot of girls said that they are staying in (we just had registration) because of my idea. Wow.

—Suzanne

I am a cancer survivor; I battled leukemia back in 2004 and have been cancer free for two years after chemo and a bone marrow transplant. I now volunteer for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society helping newly diagnosed blood cancer patients, working in the Advocacy Network, and speaking at LLS events. This is my way to give back to the community after all the generosity and kindness bestowed upon me during that trying time in my life.

—Deborah

Hi I volunteer with a local Literacy group to help people improve their reading & life skills. It has opened up a whole new world for me & has made me very happy.

—Ali

I volunteer to make baby quilts for children that were sexually abused - the quilts are distributed by our local hospital, where the kids are brought for their medicals. I volunteer a free yoga class at our hospital's cancer center every Summer when the regular teacher takes her vacation.

—Marinda

I am the local representative for the Department of Peace legislation that is currently moving through the United States Congress—with 62 backing representatives and 2 senators. This is not anti-war legislation— it is a Bill focusing 3/4 on domestic issues: school violence, domestic abuse, etc. With the idea that we need a unifiying organzation to highlight, research, and disseminate best peace/conflict resolution practices in all the areas where conflict arises. Being a part of this initiative allows me to practice the idea of "Being the Bill" and yoga is extremely helpful with that.

—Cindy

Most definitely! My sadhana (daily practice) and seva (selfless service) are interdependent. My practice affects my activism and my professional interests. My dissertation is on the effects of yoga on low-income women who are survivors of domestic violence. This is one of the critical ways of bringing yoga to a population that typically does not have access to it due to issues of oppression and inequity in society. It is our calling as yogis/yoginis to take our lessons on the mat into what one of my teachers calls our "real practice" outside of the studio, off of the mat and into the world that so desperately needs our seva. Thank you for asking this critical question!

—Aisha

Volunteering is a new thing for me, but I love it. I am active in my Buddhist temple, and have recently started using my talents for them and designing the quarterly newsletter to help save money.

—Michele

Once a month I have a free yoga class for a group of 21 developmentally delayed adults. I have been doing this for 7 years and yoga has made a great difference in their lives. They look forward to the class so much and so do I. They come into the class with their uncoordindated bodies, and then aa we begin to move with the breath, they begin to move in a very fluid manner. I helps them with their left and right brain coordination also. It is the most rewarding yoga work that I do.

—Jeanne

I support thr fight against all Cancers. I've lost most of my family and my best friend of 35 years to the disease. It's time to stop the pain and loss of these wondeful souls that have touched so many people and has missed out on a long joyful life.

—Lois

I am the co-founder of Natural Mama, Inc., a community group that provides informational resources to the Atlanta community for holistic birthing, diet, exercise and education.

—Cheri

I'm not sure if it could call it a cause but I do what I can to I ehance the lives of my family, friends and people encounter. I have always done this to some extent but my awareness of the universe and my place in it has increased since I began to practice yoga.
Namaste.

—Ray

I spread the word about the importance of a healthy whole foods/organic diet vs. proccessed or fast food. Also educating people about preventive/alternative medicine (herbs, cleansing/detox, nutrition, homeopathy, reiki, masage therapy, yoga, etc.) I feel it is important to create a network in the natural & holistic health fields in our communities to let people know they have other options and it is ultimately their resposibility to educate themselves when it comes to their health and their bodies. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

—Dawn

I have been voluntering a couple times a week at the local hospital, and at a day program they have set up for people with Parkinsens Disease. I have found that doing this has helped me to become more aware of just how much my words and actions truly do impact all those around me, just as theirs impacts me. It has given me a much deeper understanding for the principle of the nonviolence, and how my actions+ words do have a direct effect on many other lives than just my own!

—Heidi

I'm not a big cause person generally, but my daughter's trip to Costa Rica caused me to think about one tiny area that I could contribute. She went with a group that was supplying shoes to the children of the coffee plantation laborers so they could go to school. She was able to see first hand how different the conditions were between the workers on a plantation that sold to a big commercial coffee company, and those that sold to "Fair Trade" type of companies or co-ops. The folks from the fair trade and Co-ops had much better conditions. Suprisingly folks that worked on a plantation that sold to the "Evil Mermaid" were some of the worst off. I have made it a point to buy and promote fair trade type of sales arrangement coffee sources. I carefully check the souces, and even roast my own coffee to ensure this. Everone I know has heard this story, and for the most part they tell me that that they buy with an eye toward the fair trade label.

—Chris

I have worked for and with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault for over six years, during which time I began practicing yoga. My practice has shifted my approach to this work, including my understanding of my role in women's and children's lives. This shift has better enabled me to offer kindness and compassion to the victims and survivors with and for whom I work. I hope to become certified soon so that I can offer the healing powers of yoga to those whose lives have been touched by intimate partner violence.

—Anneliese

I'm a student at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Although some students and professors are educated about and practice living sustainably, overall the public in our area hasn't been taught about our environmental impact. The Environmental Awareness Organization (EAO) on campus, of which I am a member, helps educate students and the community about responsible purchasing, recycling, and reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

—Nanci