Karma Yoga

Yoga practice is not only asana (posture) practice, it should also happen off the mat in your daily life. Ashtanga yoga has eight limbs whereof asana is only one. Practicing the other eight is of equal importantce. Yama and Niyama, the two first limbs of Ashtanga yoga, include advice on how to think about and act towards yourself and others. An important part of yoga practice is to care for others and to give back to the community. This is called Karma Yoga or “Seva” – which means selfless service.

The word Karma means action, work, endeavour, or the results of past deeds. In yoga philosophy it is believed that our present situation is based on our past actions. By taking actions to help others without the aim of any personal gain we change our attitudes towards the better and in the process, change our souls. This leads to a future free from negativity and selfishness and a change of our destiny.

Seva, should be done without any selfish purpose or attachment to the fruits/results of the action taken. Doing Seva, giving back to society, can be done in many ways, big or small. If one does not have the monetary means one can help by doing small daily gestures and actions towards fellow human beings or engage in charity work. The Baghavad Gita (one of the most important texts in Yoga) says:

No effort ever goes to waste in selfless service, and there is no adverse effect.” (BG ch2.40).

Over the years Ashtanga Yoga Malmö (Isabella) has been involved in volunteer work with organisations such as Project Air (yoga tuition of genocide survivors) and Odanadi (trustee 2010). Both organisations work for women’s (and children’s) rights in Rwanda and India respectively. You can read more about them by clicking on the links above.

In 2015 Ashtanga Yoga Malmö also arranged a fund raiser for Syrian refugees that contributed to the Swedish campaign “På Flykt” led by Radiohjälpen.

In 2016 Ashtanga Yoga Malmö teamed up with Yogashala Stockholm to help support the work of V-Care Mysuru (Vision for Culture, Arts, and Research Enhancement); a small NGO based in Mysore India. V-Care works for social change and the empowerment of girls and young children though cultural, arts and musical projects. The organisation is run by Kumudini, wife of Stanly who is the director of Odanadi (see above). Every school-year V-Care organises holiday camps for children from the poorest villages around Mysore. Through playful activities the children are trained in gender equality and respect. V-Care also helps children, mainly girls from the most vulnerable groups in society, to receive adequate schooling. Young women are also given vocational training in sewing etc. to be able to become self-sufficient.

In cooperation with Yogashala Stockholm we have founded the sister-organisation V-Care Sweden in order to help raise awareness for V-Care. We regularly arrange special fundraising events to sponsor V-Care and it’s work with children in caste-less communities in the outskirts of Mysore. Our planned planned events are to be found the events calendar. If you’re interested in knowing more or want to help/donate, please contact us. Swedish donors may send contributions through swish 123 576 46 91.

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I samarbete med:

Tack till:
Form: Frida Nilsson (Illustraform), Caroline Löfgren   •   Webb: Mikael Björs (BiT)   •   Foto: Sophie Håkansson, Alessia Campostrini