The idea of Yoga Aid began in 2006 during a trip to Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga, where Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji sat with Eriko Kinoshita, my wife, and I and told us to simply “just give”. His words were life changing and grew into the Yoga Aid Foundation: the philanthropic fund which we began with Eriko’s two children, Mayumi and Zenta.
Together we dreamed up the concept of “Yoga Aid Challenges”: charity yoga classes held around the world. We decided that we would fund all the event costs, so that individuals could give 100% directly to charity. In this way, in over 250 locations worldwide we have managed to raise $1.3 million.
Over the years, we have had the privilege of supporting some wonderful people and projects. The inspirational Paige Elenson, founder of the Africa Yoga Project (africayogaproject.org) is dedicating her life to empowering the youth of Kenya. The infectiously happy children at Manjushree Orphanage in India (manjushreeorphanage.org) are about to open their new Yoga Aid funded dormitory, and the remarkable yoga classes at Sunnyfield Independence (sunnyfield.com.au) have changed both participants’ and teachers’ lives forever.
All this is not to mention the incredible yogis who volunteer to organize our charity events across the world: these Community Ambassadors are the lifeblood of Yoga Aid, selflessly giving their time year after year and bringing their communities with them.
However, working continuously on the same fundraising concept for several years is hard, and to keep going we needed to change. We were also aware that although we knew about the global nature of these events, participants didn’t necessarily feel the international connection.
So we came up with a new concept, where we engage the whole yoga world, all on the same day.
The Yoga Aid World Challenge.
On Sunday September 9th, 2012 we will begin with a 2 hour yoga class in the Domain, Sydney at 8am. Then, following the direction of the sun around the world, a new event will start every 15 minutes across 200 locations until our final event at sunset on Santa Monica Pier, LA.
Our goal is to create a sense of connectedness, consciousness and global responsibility in yogis around the world – and raise another $1M for our charity projects.
We have so far confirmed 125 events in over 25 countries, with 30 events in Australia alone. The Sydney Yoga Aid Challenge will be awesome, with our friends MC Yogi and the Future Sound of Yoga accompanying some of Sydney’s best yoga teachers to lead the class.
Now all we need is for people to join us and help make a difference through their love of yoga: to “just give”. Please, be part of it.
Register now for The Yoga Aid World Challenge (Yogaaid.com).