Yoga works. It has scientifically proven health benefits and is highly effective in decreasing stress, a major factor in most disease. For various social and economic reasons, however, yoga is not easily accessible to many isolated and underserved populations, often those who could use it the most. The Yoga Service Council (YSC) was started in 2009 at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, by a group of seva yogis in order to broaden access to yoga and its life-changing practices (seva means “selfless service” in Sanskrit, and infers service without the expectation of reward).
Made up of an ever-expanding and diverse community of non-profit service organizations including Off the Mat, Into the World; Yoga Hope; The International Association of Yoga Therapists; The Art of Yoga Project; and many more, the YSC will be holding its inaugural Yoga Service Conference next weekend. This three-day event will feature yoga teachers, wellness professionals, and scientists and researchers who work with marginalized and at-risk groups teaching workshops, lecturing, and discussing ways in which education and cooperation can affect lasting social change. Faculty includes yoga teachers Seane Corn and Beryl Bender Birch, mind-body wellness expert Dr. Gabor Mate, Stanford University lecturer Kelly McGonigal, PhD, and a host of other yoga service pioneers.
Yoga teachers, school teachers, counselors, social workers, health providers, wellness practitioners, and any who desire to make a positive difference with the power of yoga are encouraged to attend. If you do plan to go, make sure to register by phone and mention the discount code YSC for a substantial reduction of $100 off the $395 registration fee. For more information, visit the Yoga Service Council website at yogaservicecouncil.org.