Yoga practices and the yoga lifestyle are not just for use in yoga classes. The philosophies of yoga, open-mindedness, forgiveness, and awareness of the self and others are beneficial viewpoints in any part of life. This is clearly demonstrated by the numbers of compassionate yogis who are using their practices to help the world at large. Here we’ll share with you six yogis who are taking their teachings off the mat to benefit the rest of the world in their own, unique ways.
Dan Libby, Veteran’s Yoga Project
This not for profit is dedicated to helping veterans and their families heal and adapt both while still in the military and afterward. It works with veterans and the community, promoting education and holistic health through yoga, meditation, and other techniques.
Kevil Pearce, LoveYourBrain Foundation
Once a champion snowboarder, Kevin Pearce suffered a brain injury before the Olympics and set up this charity to help and support people with traumatic brain injuries. The program supplies individually tailored yoga and meditation programs aimed at promoting health and wellbeing while working within the individual’s limitations.
Sue Jones, YogaHope
This is a charity that is dedicated to empowering oppressed and disenfranchised women throughout the world, particularly in troubled areas or communities. It offers programs that use yoga to decrease the effects of stress and trauma with the ultimate goal of empowering women and training them to be leaders within their communities.
Andrew Beinbrink, Yoga 4 Homeless
According to some sources, there are more than 100 million homeless people in the world at the moment. This yogi seeks to help them one at a time by setting up yoga classes and equipment in an attempt to decrease the devastating effects that stress, poor nutrition, and sleep, lack of shelter and constant uncertainty have upon this ever-growing section of the population. The classes are adapted for individual limitations and held in partnership with homeless shelters and other charities.
In an attempt to counter youth violence in schools in New York, this program works with the public school system and in detention centers to try to teach youths a different path through yoga, mindfulness and community service. It was set up by people like Deepak Chopra, Eric Ford, and Eddie Stern and seeks to transform entire communities one youth at a time.
Mike Huggins, Transformation Yoga Project
With yoga, mindfulness classes and other support, this program aims to help people heal from trauma caused by addiction, violence, war or incarceration. The program works with prisons, schools, detention centers, VA hospitals, and community centers to help people adjust to the changes in their lives and work to create communities that are safe and healthy.
Hopefully, this list of world-changing yogis inspired and impressed you, making it clear that yoga can be more than just a way to stay fit and healthy. By taking yoga practices into the wider world, practitioners can bring numerous benefits to at-risk or vulnerable communities as well as to themselves.