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Transcript of Seva
Service from the Inside Out
“When I honor my own life with a consistent yoga practice, I find myself wanting to honor all of life.”
-Kaitlin Quistgaard, Yoga Journal
What does Seva mean?
an ancient Sanskrit word meaning "selfless service.“
an attitude and consciousness we bring to what we do
Seva springs from 2 forms of yoga
Karma Yoga: yoga of action
Bhakti Yoga: yoga of devotion
Seva is not limited to any particular religions or belief systems.
“Wherever hands reach out to the poor and suffering, or to accomplish selflessly some work that must be done for a common cause, then seva is being performed.”
Benefits of Practicing Seva
Healing Impact on others or wherever service is being performed
“Herein lies the beauty of seva. As most people search for meaning in their lives, people all around the world find that it is in selflessly giving to others and working for common goals that they receive the most joy in their lives, and the most meaning as well.”
Seva in Your Life
We begin to naturally serve
Deeper understanding, love, and compassion
You are worthy of your time
A sense of who your are.
Enjoying your body
Clarifying or discovering personal battles
begin to realize our unity with others
We each have stories, struggles, and victories
We recognize our humanness
An ability to empathize
Through regular yoga practice there are stages that take place naturally which evolves into deeper love and compassion for others--seva
Stages of a Yoga Pose
Getting Grounded: finding your foundation and roots
Letting Go: Through that foundation you feel held up and can begin to let go, allowing all parts of the body to work together
Growth: You begin to deepen to feel more
Translates to Life
Is Seva Just a Fancy Word for Volunteer Work?
The Power of intention
The Difference is Our Intention
Volunteering is often performed to fulfill a personal need: to alleviate guilt, seek praise or respect, prove our power to "save" people, and so on.
Can be based on unequal relationship—pulling someone up or fixing them
The Difference is Our Intention
Volunteer “work” becomes seva when one person wants to share their wholeness with another—no agenda.
One soul serving another
To understand you can’t always necessarily eliminate suffering, but you can connect with another human spirit
Food can be prepared with the sole purpose of feeding the physical body. But when food is prepared with the intention of sharing and connection, it will nourish the spirit as well.
“The practice of Seva is not something we do in addition to everything else that we are doing in our lives; it is something that we do while we are going about the normal business of every day living.”
Set an Intention
Take a Breath
Decide to see the goodness and unity in all that you encounter.
Offer seva by means of words, thoughts, and actions.
Offer seva whenever or wherever you are.
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
“The awareness that we develop on the yoga mat, though seemingly small, affects all that is. As we become more aware in our yoga practice and in our lives, we move away from force and violence towards sensitivity, feeling, and awareness, we change our individual consciousness and actions. In turn, these changes influence the consciousness and the actions of everyone we meet. Slowly, we shift the direction the world is taking. As we practice each asana, we have the opportunity to become the embodiment of peace and to make our practice a prayer for harmony in the world.”
So Many Ways to be Inspired!
What is Karma Yoga?