Making a difference with yoga | AspenTimes.com

Making a difference with yoga

Dear Editor:

On Nov. 20 a group of local yoga instructors and members of the Roaring Fork Valley community gathered at the Eagle County Community Center in El Jebel for an event called One Love Colorado. They did 108 Sun Salutations in an act of Seva, or selfless service, and raised almost $6,000 for Off the Mat, Into the World (OTM), a nonprofit organization that helps communities in crisis around the world.

Participants in the event were challenged to raise $108-plus and follow 12 local yoga instructors through 108 Sun Salutations. This was no easy task (a Sun Salutation is a series of yoga postures linked together with the breath), but even many of very newest yoga students rose to the occasion. The yoga practice was followed by amazing food, live music by local musicians and a silent auction.

I am at a loss for words to express my deep gratitude to the countless individuals and local businesses who gave so much of themselves to make this event such a success. I feel overwhelmingly privileged to live and work in such a generous community.

One Love Colorado is a local group seeking to make a difference through yoga and service. We are partnering with the nonprofit organization Off The Mat, Into The World, an organization with a mission to use the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and ignite grassroots social change. OTM helps individuals take yoga “off the mat and into the world,” expanding the sphere of change outward to local and global communities.

I started One Love Colorado as part of a Global Seva Challenge to raise $20,000 for OTM’s programs in South Africa. The funds raised will help children who have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa and organizations who work to address this crisis in a holistic way. If I meet my fundraising goal of $20,000 by Dec. 15, (only $14,000 to go!) I will personally go to South Africa in February 2011 to work with the children and organizations that the money is helping.

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Our first One Love Colorado Community Yoga Event raised nearly $6,000, and whether I meet my larger goal of $20,000 or not, that money will do an incredible amount of good in the world. I want to thank every single person who contributed time, money or sweat to this effort, and I invite anyone who would like to learn more or make a donation to visit our website: http://www.coloradoonelove.org.

Thank you, Roaring Fork Valley community! You are an amazing group of people!

Dawn Dexter

Snowmass