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Ways to Give Back Through Yoga

Yoga is union, union is community, and community is life. The practice of yoga allows us to link aspects of our own self – mind, body, and spirit – and in turn learn to link and connect to all facets of the life around us. From the air we breathe to the ground we walk on, these deep connections to ourselves and the world around us brings a greater awareness of the lives around us.

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Studio Donation Classes

Often you’ll see donation-based classes at studios, raising money for a local, domestic, or international cause.  Many times when you attend an event, like a workshop or retreat, you may be asked to bring a donation contributing to the creation of care packages, or lightly used goods to donate to shelters or disaster victims.  

yoga philosophy

Instagram Challenges

Lately there has been a push in social media to take the popular Instagram yoga challenge and connect it to a cause. If you're in the Instagram yoga community have probably seen these themed challenges on your feed.  These are a great way to give back with your practice. In many cases there is a sponsor who donates $1 for every participant; if 500 people join a challenge, that’s $500 to the selected organization. 

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For example, an upcoming challenge called #YogisforCleanWater launches November 4th. Participants will help raise awareness and funding for The Water Project. This organization provides safe and reliable water to communities in Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda. This is a wonderful example of a yoga charity challenge, but you can find tons more out there to support! And of course, there are many other ways to combine your practice with giving back.

Get Creative!

Teachers could offer a donation based class once a month for a charity. To draw more interest, consider letting your students or the studio select the cause.  This will get class attendees thinking about how they can give back too. Chances are pretty good that someone in your classes works at a non-profit; asking them for ideas about ways to help local organizations is a great idea.  If no one has started this at your studio, go for it!

yoga philosophyYou don’t have to limit yourself to donating cash. You could host a studio activity at the local soup kitchen or shelter or gather hygiene items to donate. Yoga mats make great sleeping pads for the homeless so even gathering those can really help and brighten someone’s day.  Even holding free community events where people gather to do yoga is a good way to give back.

To bring this full circle; remember that we are all one. We are all connected. We all deserve love and happiness.  If you can help bring that to someone through the act of giving, there’s no better way to spread the real power of the yoga practice.  Even if you’ve never participated in an Instagram yoga challenge, finding a charity challenge would be a great way to get involved in the larger yoga community.  If social media isn’t for you, there are plenty of other ways to use Yoga to help others, and I have no doubt you’ll find the method that’s best for you!

Find The Water Project on Instagram at thewaterprojectinc

About the Author


Clarissa is an E-RYT® 200, RYT® 500, YACEP® teaching since 2014 and practicing since 2007.  She travels presenting at festivals, conferences, & leading retreats through @lightthesparkwithinretreats with her partner Erin @yogi.erun.  Their next retreat is Greece 2019! Clarissa teaches Vinyasa style classes with some Ashtanga influence and enjoys creating a variety of workshops and courses.  She has had a dedicated Ashtanga practice for over 5 years that has fueled her desire to learn and share the power of yoga with as many people as she can! Clarissa lives in Spearfish, South Dakota with her husband Wade and their rescue pup Inkling.  And she loves being a YogaClub Box Tribe leader and the favorite brands she’s received are, VIMMIA, Onzie, and Free People, though she can’t wait to try all the other brands!

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