May 2, 2011

Support Japan: An Invitation to Karma Yoga. ~ Joanne O.S. Kelly

Photo: Reuters

When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God.

When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.

~ B.K.S. Iyengar

In the age of information, the classic yogi saying becomes ever more clear: we are all connected.

With an awareness of that connection comes a great sense of responsibility to our fellow citizens in this global community.  How can we gain perspective on the big picture and channel our energies toward a true evolution in consciousness?

Photo: EPA, Shinto priests and Buddhist monks gather in prayer in northeastern Japan.

Project Surya cordially invites you to be a part of an international Karma Yoga event:

Japan Aishteru (We Love Japan)

What: A ceremony of 108 Sun Salutations dedicated to the victims of the Japan disasters.

When: The weekend of May 6th

Where: We’ve gone global, baby! Abu Dhabi (Project Surya), Honolulu, Amsterdam (Agama Yoga), Chicago, Los Angeles, Tucson (Lisa Schrempp, The Yoga Connection), Seattle, Sequim, Ohio (Open Circle Yoga and Wellness Studio), Varanasi (Om Shanti Yoga Niketan), Rishikesh, and Mumbai, India – studios are getting in touch every day, so watch this space for an updated list!

Who: A group of English teachers, individual yoga practitioners, yoga instructors and their sanghas, a handful of well-wishers, Catholic mass-goers, Japan-lovers, do-gooders, healers at heart, you and your crew?

Photo: YogaForAll.dgns.net


According to the New York Times, Japan is consistently ranked in the top 5 countries for giving humanitarian aid. It’s time for the global community to give back.

– The nuclear situation in Fukushima is at a Level 7 – the same as Chernobyl but with ten times the toxicity potential (Natural News)
– 160,000 are still homeless (70,000 to 80,000 people who lived within 12 miles of the plant must stay away from their homes indefinitely)
– 25,000+ estimated dead
– 100,000 children displaced (Save The Children)
– 158,000 people still without electricity
– 210,000 without running water
– $300 billion in damages – the most expensive natural disaster of the last sixty years
– According to The Economist, not only has the international response been surprisingly slow, but the bureaucracy in Japan has kept much of the country-to-country aid from going to the right people. By using Project Surya’s partner in fundraising, Direct Relief International, our money will be going to the right hands, on the ground, in Japan.
– Karma Yoga feels so damn good!

Photo: National Geographic

Please join us in practice, prayer, or thought on any day of the weekend of May 6th. Our cumulative positive energies and healing intentions will warm the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Japan. And the more money we raise, the easier it will be for the victims to start rebuilding toward the future.

Get creative!

Rally support for the sun saluters – which may include yourself – and find sponsorship for every round of Surya Namaskar we do.  So a dollar for every round would be $108, two dollars per round would be $216.

Our fundraising partner, DRI, is a 4-star ranked charity on Charity Navigator, and has been deemed 100% efficient in fundraising by Forbes magazine eight years in a row!

You can also donate directly here.

Photo: AP

So that’s the weekend of May 6th – 108 Sun Salutations, or as many as you can muster!

Join us for the ceremony or simply donate to the cause here. (If PayPal is not an option for you, we are accepting bank transfers to Chase or Bank of America.  Please inquire by emailing japanaishteru<at>gmail.com)

Please RSVP in a comment below if you and your sangha will join us.  We’d love to keep track of all the wonderful people involved and post studio names and photos on the Project Surya website!

Email japanaishteru<at>gmail.com if you’d like to be kept up to date on future 108 ceremonies.


Joanne O.S. Kelly is a Hawaiian yogini, writer and teacher, currently finding santosha on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Between Kindergarten classroom antics and busting out articles for The Weekly Jo, Yoga Lovin’, and Shades Magazine, Joanne offers yoga instruction to a group of international super-teachers. This year’s themes: gratitude, intention, service and good old-fashioned svadhyaya. Connect on Facebook! Or email directly (yogalovin<at>gmail.com) about article ideas, yoga classes and musings on Bliss.

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