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The photo above was taken at Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, where a group of Gotta Yoga staff and friends recently spent an evening preparing a meal for residents of the House. If you’ve never heard of RMH before, the purpose of this non-nonprofit organization is to provide respite to families of children who are receiving care in nearby hospitals by providing the comforts of home, including a place to stay, meals, and a nurturing environment.

What, you might wonder, does yoga have to do with service? The answer is: Everything. As you may know, Yoga means Union. Union with yourself, with others, with some meaning bigger than yourself. The more we practice Yoga on our mats and receive that blissed out, “one-with-all” feeling, the more that we begin to recognize Yoga as so much more than the postures and work we do on our mat. Our asana (physical yoga posture) practice is a really important place to begin, but is by no means all that Yoga has to offer.

Seva is a term often used to describe yoga as service. According to Sannyasi Ratnashakti at yogamag.net, “the word seva means ‘together with’ and is describing those actions that seek collective upliftment through an understanding of the needs of others and are based on togetherness and integration. Seva is an expression of compassion, of the desire to uplift and assist people.”

Perhaps as you consider this aspect of yoga, you may find that you too wish to take your yoga “off the mat.” Gotta Yoga has a commitment to Seva, or yoga as service in our community. We would love to hear your suggestions of local organizations that might benefit from our offering service. Please offer your feedback and let us know where you’d like to see the Gotta Yoga family bring our yoga Off the Mat!

For more information on how you can help Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, please visit their website at: http://www.rmhofcharlotte.org/

In gratitude, carrie