This is an interview with Molly Lannon Kenny, who credits her "service" endeavors to the original value system in which she was raised -- "that no human being is greater than any other and all deserve a chance to be seen, acknowledged, and cared for."
"Sharing the boundless gifts of yoga and meditation not only pays respect to the generosity of those who have diligently practiced and cared enough to teach others, but is also a valuable way of life, through which we can help others help themselves."
"The emotional connection for yoga service is the human connection. Sharing yoga is another way of saying "I love you" to total strangers. We're using our bodies to find that common ground and language of love, and nothing is lost in translation."
"Taking responsibility for one's health and future is the most important part of one's own healing process. I practice this myself, and encourage students to do the same. It's not something the medical profession can give to us; it is something we have to create and maintain for ourselves."
Beryl Bender Birch is an internationally recognized teacher of meditation and yoga philosophy and author. She happens also to be my yoga teacher, friend, and co-founder of The Give Back Yoga Foundation.
This is an interview with Peg Oliveira, who has taught yoga for years in schools, detention centers, preschools, after-school programs and inpatient and outpatient mental health centers for youth and adults in and around New Haven, Conn.
This is an interview with John Morgan, an Army veteran in recovery from alcohol abuse. John's yoga service began on Veterans Day 2012 at a treatment center in eastern Connecticut for veterans, active duty personnel, and dependents.
In 1991, Tommy Rosen got sober and found the path of 12-step recovery. That freedom from addiction required several key elements: a spiritual path, community support, yoga, meditation, and a conscious diet.
"I would like kids to understand that they can do yoga anytime, anywhere, no matter how old they are. I also hope that yoga practice empowers them physically, mentally, and emotionally to be the best version of themselves that they are capable of being at any given moment."
This is an interview with Jacoby Ballard, who began teaching yoga in 2000, and has been teaching Queer and Trans Yoga and Yoga for all Genders since 2006 at both the Third Root Community Health Center and the New York City LGBT Community Center.
As defense spending cuts limit vital benefits for veterans and our country increasingly faces the issue of veteran homelessness, we offer this interview with Mark Francis-Mullen, who became a certified yoga teacher and taught yoga at the Denver VA Regional Medical Center while homeless.
"In the first approach, CCYoga sends teachers into Native American communities. We teach classes at urban rehabilitation and housing facilities in the greater Phoenix area and on Native American reservations close to Phoenix, Ariz."
"It's time to offer yoga electives in social work and other helping professional degree programs (for nurses, therapists, special educators, first responders, etc.). These professionals and their clients will benefit from an education in the foundational principles of yoga healing."
"I'm a survivor of domestic violence. My tools for transitioning from victim to survivor have been traditional therapy, peer support, creative pursuits, and yoga. Yoga has been vital in managing my PTSD symptoms and in moving internally from surviving to living."
Today, Niroga conducts over 100 yoga classes a week in 40 sites throughout the Bay Area, serving over 5,000 children, youth, and adults annually, in mainstream and alternative schools, juvenile halls and jails, rehab centers, and cancer hospitals.
"The only assumption I operate with now is that suffering is something we all share. I have also come to trust that few of us really want to be identified with our limitations or the story of our pain, so we might go to great lengths to prove that we are something else."
This is an interview with Sarah Plummer, who started practicing yoga in 2001 in order to cope with overuse injuries from soccer and military training. After years of dabbling in the practice, in 2006, during her second deployment to Iraq, she became "hooked."
"Now I might chant a little but I still try to make yoga as relatable as possible to the military culture, so I try to quickly emphasize breath, muscles, and mind: three things all vets can relate to."