Volunteer work = Karma yoga

I’ve had this desire to volunteer in Arlington, VA (my community) for the past few years.  Work (the long hours, commuting, traveling, etc.) always seemed to be my excuse.  Of course, I donated money instead of time but it always seemed to be a passing thought –something I simply did each December.  Writing a check also felt so cold and out of touch with reality. 

Since starting my own yoga business, I now control my schedule and can donate in a way that is more meaningful to me.  I’ve selected a domestic violence organization (http://www.doorwaysva.org) to work with.  Since starting my volunteer training (it’s 30 hours of just training!) and learning more about the people in need, I’ve been thinking more about Karma Yoga, The Bhagavad Gita and my place in this world. 

Karma yoga is the yoga of action.  Rather than working to receive something, karma yoga (like volunteering) is the practice of helping others and working for the greater good.  A true karma yogi has no desire for personal gain.  The desire is to help others in need. 

I wasn’t expecting to “receive” anything in exchange for my time –sort of like when I donated money I didn’t expect anything in return.  Though something is clicking – I’m starting to feel an indirect result from helping others in a new way.  My heart and spirit are experiencing a level of joy and satisfaction I was not expecting.  I’m realizing helping others is a way to help ourselves, those around us and the universe.  And, I’m seeing how beautiful my life truly is.  This is something I definitely never experienced through writing a check or reading about karma yoga.

Do it and experience it for yourself.    

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