The folks at the Australian-based YogaAid have dreamed up a large-scale nationwide yoga event on September 18th and 19th to coincide with National Yoga Month.
The two-hour yoga classes around the country will be taught by 12 local yoga teachers to benefit charity. While the biggest events are being held in Chicago, New York, Miami, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco, organizers say that more than 20 others will happen around the country.
Participating in a Yoga Aid Challenge is easy: Log on to www.yogaaid.com and click the red button for the United States Yoga Challenge. Here, you can register to create a profile page.Then people can visit your page and donate--all online.
The idea is that students raise money for charity in advance of the free class. (Many well-meaning charity events actually lose money, because the cost of putting on an event eats into the profits.) YogaAid's model is funding the event so that all of the money raised goes directly to the chosen charities: Off the Mat, Into the World, Africa Yoga Project, 4OneWorld, and Yoga for Youth.
Beyond raising money, the organizers hope that the event will have a ripple effect, sparking the desire in each student to serve in their community.
Karma Yoga (the yoga of service) is one of yoga's eight limbs. How do you find ways to serve in your family or community? Let us know.
And to get you in the giving mood, Yoga Aid and MC Yogi have paired up to create the tune, "Give Love." Download the MP3 for free by going to yogaaid.com and clicking on the blue box at the bottom right hand corner.
Nora Isaacs is a Bay Area-based health writer and editor.