Yoga Gives Back
by Julee Yew-Crijns
“Love is not patronising and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”
― Mother Teresa
When I first planted the seed to become a yoga teacher, the one thing that was super clear for me (because everything else was not very clear back then) was that I would like to be able to serve some community through this new work. It was becoming obvious that the yoga community was going to be a community with great capabilities, to reach out to those in their local community, as well as those farther afield.
The first thing I did when I graduated was to start a 50+ yoga class. Initially, this class was meant to be a complimentary class. But everyone suggested collecting a small fee that would go to charity. This was how I came to find Yoga Gives Back (YGB). I cannot even remember exactly how that happened because back then, they were still a small operation, but I somehow stumbled upon them. The founder’s words inspired me and their work completely resonated with me. Right away, I knew that this was an organisation I’d love to work with. I got in touch with them and through our emails, we just clicked and I was invited to become one of their ambassadors. That was more than 5 years ago, and I have been following their work closely & proudly, watching them grow as a charity and witnessing the impact on lives. The founder continues to champion the organisation, recently visiting recipients of YGB funds.
Through their ‘Sister Aid’ program YGB directly funds programs for education and the economic empowerment of women and children through carefully selected partners in India. Through these funds, they are able to empower women to be self sufficient, enable girls to stay in education and avoid child labour or child marriage, and fund orphans in schools. With increased support, the funds are now also able to help fund higher education. As the organisation grows, so does the opportunity to reach out to help more communities.
When I was travelling in India, it really hit me how much support was needed out there. I used to think that there are already so many charities mobilised out there- both local and international. But when you come face to face with the situation, you realise that more help is needed, because there is so much to do (likewise in Africa). It’s not really someone else’s problem. It is a human problem.
I left India feeling so lucky that I am a woman born and raised in the right place to the right people and now live somewhere where my rights are not restricted just because I am a woman. That I had my basic human right even (never mind as a male or female- just the very basic human right). In India I really felt the restrictions, completely different from what I am used to- walking around wherever I wish in whatever I wish. This strengthened my support for YGB even more. Working to empower women because women will empower their families and their communities.
I understand that now, more than ever, there is such a huge need for our charity at home and abroad. We only give what we can. It is important to give with love. I feel that yoga events are a great channel for raising funds, a good exchange of energy, giving a yoga class in exchange for your funds that go to charity. This is YGB’s mantra. Please do join me and 9 other teachers this 29th May for a yoga challenge that will change lives. You can try to raise £25 through sponsorship or pay it yourself. If you are unable to join us, you can buy a raffle ticket for £1.50 for a chance to win some fantastic prizes that local businesses have donated to the event.
If you’d like to know why we do 108 sun salutations here’s a good link to visit
(by the way, you don’t have to do them all, just join in and do as many as you can)
Thank you from my heart always!