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From Asana to Action

Use your yoga teachings to inspire social change.
By Sara Avant Stover

On November 5, 2008, Nelson Mandela wrote a letter to President-Elect Barack Obama—a letter that appeared in the New York Times the next day. Mandela’s missive included the statement, “Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.”

Perhaps it was out of this very desire that you first became a yoga teacher. Now, after teaching hundreds and thousands of students, you’re ready to extend your offerings to an even wider audience.

How can you contribute in a larger way? How can you share the gifts of yoga with those who may never step foot inside the four walls of your yoga studio?

The Yoga of Service
For Seane Corn, a teacher, YouthAIDS yoga ambassador, and one of the founders of Off the Mat, Into the World (OTM), the link between yoga and service is obvious.

“Yoga is about creating community, relationship, and connections, and service is inevitably about that, too,” Corn says. “We have the responsibility to create an environment where all people can be abundant, happy, and free.”

Ashley Turner, a yoga and meditation instructor in Venice, California, who runs international service-oriented retreats, agrees. “Yoga is social activism,” she declares. “What affects one of us affects all of us.”

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