Almost five years ago, I traveled to India for the first time and was forever changed. India is a feast, and sometimes shock to the sense. The sights, sounds and smells that abound are nothing like what I‘ve experienced in Canada. All that and the people I encountered have left an everlasting imprint.
As many of you know, I am a certified Akhanda Yoga teacher. Akhanda means, whole, complete and indivisible. Being a member of the Akhanda family means I am part of a global community of teachers, students and leaders. As my students, you too can include yourselves in this sacred community.
The Akhanda Yoga Family is the force behind Helping Hands For India, a charitable organization founded in 2013 by my teacher Yogrishi Vishvketu and that Anand Prakash Ashram. The charitable organization is dedicated to offering educational opportunities and well-being initiatives to underserved children in rural northern India. For the last 5 years I have supported Helping Hands for India through financial donations and most recently humbly accepted a role on the board of directors as Director of Donor Recognition.
Below is a photo taken of me and some of the children of the Sansar Gyaan Pathshala school in 2013. When visiting the school, these children ran up to me with flowers they picked saying, “Thank You…Thank You!"
This July, the Akhanda Yoga teaching community has launched a Karma Yoga initiative to raise much-needed funds for the school funded by HHFI.
On Tuesday, July 24th, all proceeds from my All Levels Hatha Yoga class at the Carlsbad Community Centre will be donated to Helping Hands for India. Karma means that what we put out in the world affects our personal experiences and those we meet directly and indirectly. When we do something good with right intention – we all benefit from it.
Let your Karmic expression be to support this initiative and the children that depend on us. All you have to do is to show up! As always, newcomers are invited to attend at no charge. Donations however will be most welcome for this special class of course. Suggested donation amount for drop-ins is $15. If you can’t make it to class that night, but would still like to participate, you can donate the equivalent value of one of your classes. Just let me know and I will stamp your class with deepest gratitude.
It really doesn’t get any easier than that!
In developing countries like India, a little money goes a really long way. Just $10/month sponsors a child to attend school. A little more money funds the uniforms they are all given and/or the books and other school supplies they use.
It is said one of the best ways to uplift an underserved community is to educate the girls. When a girl receives an education she changes the lives of 4 generations in her family. To help change the cultural barriers that often prohibits girls from receiving an education, Helping Hands for India requests that for every boy who is sent to school, a girl is also sent from the family or village. Enrollment is currently almost evenly split with a ratio of boys to girls. Children that live too far to walk to school are often given a bike to make the journey easier.
Since exclusively volunteers run Helping Hands for India all funds earned go right to managing the programs that are changing lives for these children.
To learn more about Helping Hands for India and the school it supports, check out their website;
As part of the Carlsbad Community and extended Akhanda yoga community, I know you all have huge open and generous hearts. I look forward to leading you through this Karma Yoga experience, which will deepen our collective connection. India, this school and these children are very dear to my heart. So, join me on the mat on July 24th at 7:00 PM. Bring a friend. And Thank You…Thank You!
In deepest gratitude and with much Love,
Kathy (Sarva Mangala) Noel
Certified Akhanda Yoga Teacher.