September is National Yoga Month which "invites all styles of yoga to participate in an awareness campaign designed to educate about the many benefits of yoga and inspire our fellow citizens to live healthier, happier lives." One of the original Yoga texts states that Spring and Fall are auspicious times of year to begin or continue your practice of yoga. The Yogi should begin practice (samachara) in spring or autumn, instructs the late seventeenth century Gheranda Compendium (5.15), if he wants to easily gain success. We hope you will feel inspired this September to engage more fully in your yoga practice by bringing yoga out into your community.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed in our desire to be of service, so we want to encourage you to narrow your focus to one area which is important to you. If you do not feel passionate about it, you may have more difficulty following through. We have chosen to draw your attention to the next generation of our local, national and international communities - our children. iHanuman teacher Christy Brock trains teachers to teach yoga to teens. She has created a handful of downloads to demonstrate how specialized teaching yoga to teens is and to help teachers observe successful teachers in action.
One of Christy's trained teachers is Koren Paalman. Koren was integral in bringing the yoga program to the LA unified school system in 1998. She currently teaches at the Los Angeles Iyengar Yoga Institute and Yoga Works. Christy's advice for success is to "affiliate yourself within an established organization, like a school, a youth shelter, a summer camp or a church" for sustainability and support. View more sequences through Christy's site YogaMinded.com
There are several non-profit organizations who have realized the need for this important work as well. For example Y.O.G.A For Youth - The Y.O.G.A. for Youth mission is to provide urban youth with tools for self-discovery that foster hope, discipline and respect for self, others and community.
iHanuman has a strong commitment to Karma Yoga. 5% of the sale of every download in our store goes towards charitable organizations. You can see the list of organizations that we support on our Karma Yoga Page. We have also developed a Karma Yoga Collection where over 50% of the sale of the download in our store goes to a charitable organization. For a list of these classes and the organizations they support, please visit our Karma Yoga Page.
However you decide to do it, help us make a commitment this month to practice yoga and take yoga out into the community. Find some organization that you are drawn to and share the benefits of yoga. As Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, In this [karma] yoga, even the abortive attempt is not wasted. Nor can it produce a contrary result. Even a little practice of this yoga will save you from the terrible wheel of rebirth and death. (Bhagavad Gita 2:40)
Share with us your experiences with Yoga This month.