I just got back from the 1st Annual Summit on Yoga, Mindfulness, and Service at the Omega Institute in NY (May 17-21 2009). This was a gathering of leaders in the yoga community who are passionate about outreach, activism, service, and research on yoga and meditation. Many run their own non-profits that bring yoga and meditation to underserved populations, from teenagers in prison to women in recovery from addiction, eating disorders, and domestic violence. I was there representing several great organization I work with: the International Association of Yoga Therapists, Yoga Bear (offering yoga to cancer survivors), and the Art of Yoga (teaching yoga to girls in juvenile detention).
Check out this 2-part youtube conversation about service in yoga between summit attendees Mark Lily, founder of Street Yoga in Portland, OR, and Seane Corn, founder of Off the Mat Into the World.
The 12 attendees at the summit officially formed the Yoga Service Council. We look forward to harnessing energy, good will, skills, science, and --oh, yes-- funds to support individuals and organizations that serve communities through yoga and meditation. Stay tuned for more information about our projects and ways to get involved!