commitment, community, creativity, philanthropy, yoga

Beautiful: How Compass Yoga Can Spread the Love to People in Need After Natural Disasters

photoI’m doing a lot of thinking about Compass Yoga‘s direction these days. I’m proud of what we’ve built. I’m overjoyed that we help over 200 people every week thanks to a band of dedicated and loving teachers. However, I’m never satisfied. I always want to do more. I want to reach more people, provide more healing, and expand our capabilities.

I am deeply affected by the aftermath of the natural disasters our nation has faced in the past few years. I’ve daydreamed about a way for Compass Yoga to help. I’ve toyed with yoga fundraisers and donation-based classes to benefit victims, though that impact seems miniscule compared to the need that these disasters create. Additionally, there are so many other ways to give that are more efficient and have wider reach. The innovation to text a donation via our cell phones is brilliant, and I use it often.

When President Obama gave his remarks just after the Oklahoma tornado last week, a lightbulb went off. He said, “So the people of Moore should know that their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them as long as it takes. For there are homes and schools to rebuild, businesses and hospitals to reopen, there are parents to console, first responders to comfort, and, of course, frightened children who will need our continued love and attention.

His words reignited an idea I had when a deadly tornado hit Joplin, Missouri in 2011. I didn’t want to provide yoga to people in Joplin. That’s not what they immediately needed. They needed the love, care, compassion, and concern that shines in the heart of every yogi everywhere. What we need is a way to harness that love, distill it, and provide it as comfort for people who have lost so much in these disasters. I know that feeling and it is terrifying and isolating.

We have a lot of wonderful organizations that provide basic needs – food, shelter, healthcare. In addition to that work, they also need to be the emotional support for the people they help. This latter responsibility could use assistance from other groups, providing the compassion for these people, giving them someone to talk to, someone whose sole role is to stand with them until they can stand on their own again. Who could do that work? Who could own that mission?

And there it was in President Obama’s quote. We need to do it, to provide comfort to first responders, love, attention, and consolation to those who are frightened. With technology, Compass Yoga could do it. We could live up to our name and guide people along their personal paths to recovery. Yogis are everywhere, in every community. They want to help. Let’s give them a way to put their hearts where the need is. Let’s solve this.