Your recipient can redeem it for guided meditations, yoga classes, or apply toward yoga teacher training tuition!
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Have you ever noticed the way that plant roots look like veins? So do rivers flowing to the sea, when viewed from high altitudes. We can easily grasp on to these images and then our minds attach the meaning. Roots, veins, rivers; they appear similar and serve the same purpose: nourishment, growth, new life. On a less-tangible level, we can visualize seeds of human intellect sprouting into roots after being nourished by the rivers of knowledge and wisdom. In the same way that a tree seed sprouts and can eventually nourish a prodigious expanse of leaves and bark, the seeds planted in a child’s experience will grow in to the future of humankind. Children benefit from care, guidance, nutrition and love so they can grow and expand.
Kids. They’re the most wise people on the planet. It might sound outlandish to some, but to me, it’s truth. My theory is that kids are closer to the seed and the original roots of human existence, naturally connected to a deep state of understanding. I look at children as precious beings who have the capacity to grow like sponges depending upon their surroundings. I wish that all societies would appreciate their gifts, and encourage kids to flourish into brilliantly luminous adults who contribute to the greater good.
I’ve been traveling through Central America since 2009, teaching yoga at various beautiful locations in the jungles and on the coasts. I feel honored to be able to step in to these cultures which are, overall, abundant with amazing art, food, nature, people, families, farms and communities. However, as my work moves me from Nicaragua, Guatemala to Mexico a couple of times each year, I have noticed an unsettling trend. Often in the impoverished areas where tourism is high, the children are not encouraged to go to school, have fun, be creative, and play. Rather, they’re sent to the streets, ports and docks, to sell souvenirs and the like. They spend their days following the “gringos”, sometimes begging for food, often scared into making a minimum-wage for the day to bring home to their families. The cultures have adapted in a manner so that it is often viewed as acceptable and normal for kids as young as four to spend their time working, while the parents are not employed.
There’s also a big alcohol problem among adults in these areas. Many of the parents do not work, since they send the kids out to make the daily wages. Instead they tend to stay home and drink a dangerous form of cheaply-produced and highly-addictive alcohol. This is a vicious cycle of childhood illiteracy, adulthood unemployment and alcoholism.
The issues are vast and there are political, social, economic and ethical considerations. On the small-scale, I find it difficult to know how to respond to the children, and I feel called to do something to help.
So, I started purchasing and handing out children’s books and art supplies as I traveled. When the kids approach me to sell or beg, I respond by handing them books, paper and pens. I think that this may help, little by little, to promote literacy and hopefully broaden their opportunities. Over the past year I’ve distributed literacy materials to children in Nicaragua, Guatemala and Mexico.
I would love to get more people involved in this project, including our Holistic Yoga School community of teachers and students. If you are interested in becoming a literacy distribution point ANYwhere there are kids in need, we’d love to know about your intentions and help get you started. To make a donation which will be used to purchase the books and materials, please click here.
A portion of all revenue from Holistic Yoga School is invested in this project. So, another way you can support is through participation in HYS classes, retreats and courses.
I hope this information can not only raise awareness for the kids internationally, but also encourage each of us to spend quality time with the children in our own lives, feeding their growth and supporting their spirits. Thank you for reading and getting involved!
Coming Soon: Programs to Promote Conscious Travel & Tourism…
Shanti Om – Peace – Peace – Peace
Check out our Colorado friends and neighbors who are doing the same…
Recently one of our yoga students contacted us and told us of his ventures to India. Kenyon Neal is from San Fransisco, California currently living and studying in Fort Collins. Like so many, Kenyon has begun his journey of seeking higher truth. He has decided to start in perhaps the most appropriate spot for this, Rishikesh. Known as a seekers paradise, Rishikesh India is home to famous sights such as the Maharishi ashram, where the Beatles planted the meditative seed back in the 60′s. Today Rishikesh is considered to be the Yoga capitol of the world with hundreds of ashrams offering teacher trainings and retreats to the seeker. Provided with a beautiful landscape Rishikesh is located at the base of the Himalayas, with the holy Ganga river flowing endlessly. Some stay for a short trips, others for a lifetime. We look forward to Kenyons return and pray for his health and shanti during his stay.
Peace, love and light dear Kenyon!
We are thrilled to announce the very special Alicia Bay Laurel will be performing a concert on June 24th right here at the Atrium! With the Yoga Shala’s Sustainable Living Retreat kicking off at noon the next day (June 25th), you can make it a whole weekend of sustainable, natural living and learning. Feel free to rent a camp space or room for an extra night if you want to stay for the whole sha-bang! (click here for lodging reservations).
Alicia Bay Laurel wrote, illustrated and designed her legendary survival manual at ages 19 and 20, while living on a Northern California commune in 1969. Her book is a creative and artistic sustainable living handbook of sorts, which has become an international bestseller.
Merging her unique and intriguing stories with musical talent, in a one-woman comedy/storytelling singer/guitarist/songwriter performance, Alicia tells her series of edgy stories, separated by songs she wrote at the time the stories happened in her life. Alicia toured this show in 75 performances across the USA when her book was published in a 30th anniversary edition.