Seva should walk hand in hand with sadhana (spiritual practices). If one is absent, you will not gain anything from the other. From sadhana you get the strength to do seva, and from seva you get depth in sadhana.
-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar-
Seva, which translates as “selfless service” in sanskrit, is the practice where one performs an act of kindness without any expectations of reward or repayment. Seva is part of the spiritual practice of yoga. Selfless service to the people around you helps everyone. The ripple effect of seva can reach into all corners of one’s community.
At first seva can seem overwhelming. Start out small. Pay for the person’s tea in front of you who doesn’t have enough money. Help out at the local food bank. Give to the go fund me campaign of that neighbor who needs help with medical expenses.
Think about someone you know who is always first to arrive with a casserole whenever someone has a baby, a death, or some crisis. These folks do not hesitate, but just go into “help mode.” Someone gets cancer, and these folks immediately offer to drive, hold a fundraiser, take the kids, etc. That is seva…
When you are comfortable enough with the idea of giving openly without expecting anything in return, go to the next level of service. What can your generosity of spirit give more of?
Seva can seem daunting when looked at in a global perspective; that’s why it’s so much easier to do the simple acts with the community around you. Looking at who is around you and what can you do for them. Holding back by asking too many questions of yourself such as, “Does it really matter?’ Or, “What good is this going to do?” Open the heart up and say yes to helping anyone. All the mind chatter that happens when we are uncomfortable and not sure where to start will dissipate once we start serving others.
We discover the true nature of loving–kindness when we listen to our heart and not our ego when we practice seva. Seva becomes an extension of our authentic self. We naturally want to help people. We don’t need outside recognition for it. The satisfaction in our heart is enough.
How do we discover what we want to do for our seva? We consistently practice our yoga. Recognizing our inner voice comes from meditation, prayers, and asana practice. Once we open our inner guidance to the universe, she answers us. If the answer is not coming to us right away, then start serving where ever you can.
One of Shree’s core values is Community. We are a community, within a larger community, within a larger community, and on and on. Shree depends upon the larger community to survive, and giving back is one of our values. Folks might not be aware that we give gift cards for yoga t many fundraisers that support the Taos community. We give whenever we can, and get back so much from this policy.
On that note, Shree is looking for a seva project that the entire community can participate in. Something that will help an underserved part of our greater Taos community. If you have any ideas or suggestions email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. .
Also, our seva for the months of June and July in celebration of the 10 year Anniversary of Shree going to be free classes. On Friday June 21st, Suki and Genevieve will give a free yoga class on the plaza from 7:30 – 8:30 pm. Then, on July 12th, 13th and 14th there will be free yoga all weekend long with all our amazing teachers, on a special weekend schedule. See schedule below.
FRIDAY July 12
8 am, 9:30 am, Noon, 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm
SATURDAY July 13
9:30 am. Noon, 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm
SUNDAY July 14
9:30 pm, Noon, 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm