SEVA - THE FIRST STEP ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH OF YOGA
We at Ashtanga Yoga Nicaragua believes that to practice yoga, and especially to teach it, one must cultivate a sense of seva. Taking to heart the idea that the earth and all that is in it is sacred.
Seva means off the yoga mat volunteer work or selfless service, and in Indian tradition referred to as a work offered to God without expectations of return. But it is not any kind of work, it has a pay-it-forward effect, meaning that the results and benefits creates a ripple effect in a desired positive way.
Seva is Creating Ripple Effects
Seva, or selfless service, is one of the spiritual diciplines. When service is given from compassion, without the desire for reward, it is a source of joy and happiness. We realize that if we open our hearts to the needs of others we reduce our own ego, and this steers us away from focusing too much on ourselves. We offer a unique opportunity to yoga students who wish to make seva an imprtant part of their basic 200 hour yoga teacher training. The idea of brining yoga off the mat to Ostional was first born 2009, and it has taken some time to mature into something sustainable and real. It has taken time to get to know the people in the village so that they trust us. It has also taken time to find a structure and clear approach for the project, and to figure out how to find people to engage with the project. These are all ongoing processes that we look forward to developing more in the future.
Karma Yoga is The Yoga of Action
Karma yoga is also often used when referring to offering selfless service. Karma yoga means following ones own Dharma or personal path in life but it also means selfless service or action. Performing the right tasks without expecting any reward in return. To offer the fruits of actions as an expression of love for the divine and the unity, which is called yoga. Karma yoga is to heal, to help and to share and is based on the teachings in Bhagavad Gita.
Our Seva Mission
Is to restore and conserve the natural ecosystem of flora and fauna in the region of El Ostional, Nicaragua where deforestation and the destruction of endangered species pose great threats to the ecosystem. We collaborate with and assist the local organized community of Ostional and the wildlife conservation organization Paso Pacifico in promoting more awareness among the local population about the importance of restoring, conserving and developing the flora and fauna in the region of Ostional.
Is to organize voluntary work improving the lives and education of the children in the area of Ostional. Together with the parents, teacher and the children we plan, coordinate and realize projects in their school environment.
Springs from our love of yoga and the yoga practice as a powerful force for positive changes on the planet. We believe that yoga can transform the way we think, the way we look at the world. With a new mindset we can solve our problems in a new way. A paradigm shift is necessary and the power of yoga can bring about that shift. Our approach is to promote yoga in Nicaragua and encourage the yoga practitioners in taking part in the “Seva” projects in Ostional. We will actively work together toward the specific goals in each project.
Our SEVA Projects
During the past decades trees have been chopped down without planting new ones. Trees are the primary source of energy in rural Nicaragua, where wood is used for cooking and building, and the area’s natural ecology is being depleted. In the communities, a lack of knowledge about the dangerous consequences of deforestation–and also the lack of support from government authorities– make this a very serious problem. Our goal is to help educate the organized local community in Ostional about ways to protect and preserve the natural wildlife for future generations. Together with the local school in Ostional and the Victor Sanchez cooperative we organize ongoing activities including: potting plants, transferring plants, create new forested areas and education…. Read more about our reforestation projects
Saving the Sea Turtles
Several beaches in Nicaragua, both on the Pacific and the Atlantic, are among only a few in the whole world where the sea turtles come each year to lay their eggs. Two of those beaches are the Ostional beach and the nearby beach, La Flor. The different endangered species of sea turtles need protection from people digging up the nests and taking the eggs away to be sold. Although it is illegal to remove the eggs, there is insufficient protection of the turtles and thousands and thousands of eggs are stolen each year. Consuming turtle eggs has been a tradition in Nicaragua for generations. The custom, based on the myth that the turtle eggs are an aphrodisiacs, has meant that many people ignore the ban on consumption, which in turn creates a market for the eggs. There are many turtle rangers who patrol the beaches, monitoring the nests and protecting hatchlings from predators. This is where we help, supporting the different activities of the rangers…Read more about Saving the Sea Turtles Project
Saving The Iguana Verde
The Iguana Verde is one of the most common reptiles in Latin America. Because of it’s prehistoric nature and its sweet temperament it has become a popular exotic pet exported to countries outside of Nicaragua. In Nicaragua it’s custom to hunt them, burn their nest and eat their meat and eggs. All this creates an negative impact on the lizard facing extinction. To solve the problem in the area of Ostional we have, together with zoologist from the University of Managua (UNAN) and past yoga students, started a project with controlled reproduction to repopulate the area again….READ MORE: Karma Yoga Teacher Training Project
Nicaragua has a young population with over 50% of it’s population under the age of 18 and according to a number of sources Nicaragua is second poorest country in Latin America after Haiti with estimated 48% of the population living in poverty. Children and adolescents are the most affected. Breaking the trend of poverty is slow and not reaching children in remote areas like Ostional where conditions often are worse. We see it as our top priority to work with the children, parents and teachers in there to help and support with construction work, water supply, education material and other educational support. Our past yoga students have been of tremendous help and support and we hope to see this part of our Seva mission grow in the future…Read more about our Seva School Projects