Swami Satchidananda always cared deeply about serving men and women in prison. When he was serving in Sri Lanka, he and the members of his ashram built temples for both minimum and maximum security facilities and conducted regular prayer meetings for the prisoners. Sri Swamiji and a few others were allowed to enter the prisons, give lectures on spiritual life and Yoga, and speak to the prisoners individually in their cells.
After he came to the United States, Sri Swamiji continued this service by visiting prisons across the country and giving satsangs. He also encouraged his students with an interest in this type of service to teach Yoga in prisons, and there are many moving stories of inmates who were helped and rehabilitated by this service. Click here to read more
LightInnerLight.com is a website owned and operated by an Integral Yoga husband and wife team who are deeply devoted Karma Yogis and who wish to share the teachings of Swami Satchidananda and other great spiritual masters. The website offers visitors the opportunity to read, listen, and watch, at no cost, so as to light your own inner light with priceless wisdom in the form of daily inspiration, free books, questions answered, and daily talks on many spiritual topics.
The Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco offers these free Yoga programs and soup kitchens to underserved populations in the area.
The IYI offers free space to the ARC San Francisco, whose mission is to serve partially disabled young adults. IYI San Francisco also serves as the fiscal sponsor for Accessible Yoga. Accessible Yoga is dedicated to sharing the benefits of Yoga with those who have physical challenges, with anyone who currently does not have access to these teachings, and with communities that have been excluded or under-served.
IYI offers these classes through Dolores Street Community Services to Casa Quezada, a 52-unit supportive housing site for formerly homeless individuals with special needs, many of whom have transitioned from our shelter program and who are monolingual Spanish-speaking immigrants with limited access to other subsidized housing in San Francisco. In partnership with the Mission Neighborhood Resource Center, Casa Quezada provides on-site clinical and case management services, daily meal service, and community-building activities to all residents, which include Integral Yoga classes.
Integral Yoga members serve in the Glide Soup Kitchen, which offers millions to the many homeless and needy in San Francisco. Integral Yoga classes are also offered for free at Glide. Glide Memorial United Methodist Church and Foundation has served as an oasis in San Francisco since the early 1930s, and for over 45 years has been offering food, medical services, wellness programs, counseling and leadership for the underserved.
Feeding the Poor & Homeless
In addition to working with Glide.org in their soup kitchen, IYI San Francisco works with Alemany Farm organizing groups to work at a community garden that feeds the homeless. IYI teachers also have been bringing soup and bread to homeless living on the streets in tents.
Integral Yoga teachers offer free classes at San Francisco County Jail #5
Yoga for at-Risk Teens and Women
The Integral Yoga Institute is host to free Yoga programs for at-risk teens and young women, in conjunction with RISE Yoga for Youth and the Women’s Health Clinic. IYI is also hosting About-Face (helping equip women and girls with tools to understand and resist harmful media messages that affect their self-esteem and body image) so that organization can offer free programming. IYI offers free Yoga classes to Holistic Underground of San Francisco.
Stacey Jaya Balaguer teamed up with the SPCA to hold “Yoga With Cats” classes. Those who come for the Yoga class can make a donation to the local SPCA, which shelters and promotes adoption of homeless cats and other animals. The SPCA also brings homeless cats to these classes so they can be adopted by class participants.
The Integral Yoga Institute of New York offers these free Yoga programs at the IYI to underserved New York populations.
Coalition for the Homeless
Free Yoga and meditation instruction at the IYI for formerly homeless women on the path to new lives in partnership with the Coalition for the Homeless.
Yoga for HIV/AIDS
35 years ago, the Integral Yoga Institute created the first free Yoga class for people in New York City with HIV+ and AIDS. The IYI continues to serve this community with scholarships to all classes.
High School Internships
Free Yoga classes and weekly workshops for students from City As
School High School
Developmentally Disabled Youth
The IYI hosts a weekly free class for youth with developmental challenges.
Yoga for the Unemployed
The IYI offers a free weekly class and other discounts for New Yorkers who are out of work, as well as scholarships toward other Yoga classes for those unable to pay.
Yoga for Vets
The IYI of New York offers free weekly classes for veterans and their families in partnership with YogaforVetsNYC.
Free Program for the Public
Integral Yoga teacher Yvonne Vani Brown offers a free Yoga discussion group once a month at the Simmons YMCA that is open to the public. Utilizing Swami Satchidananda’s books and teachings, the discussions focus on how to utilize foundational Yoga principles and texts to address navigating life’s challenges.
Yoga for Cancer Survivors
Vani Brown also offers free classes once a week at Novant Health Cancer Center for cancer survivors. These classes serve patients at any stage, diagnosis, before, during, or after treatment
Christmas in Buckingham
For 35 years, Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville has been providing Christmas cheer to Buckingham County through its “Christmas in Buckingham” (CIB) program. Delivering free food, clothing, and gifts to all those in need, each November, volunteers (organized by Rev. Saraswati and Swami Sarvaananda) gather a list of names, finds sizes, and sends letters to let the potential recipients know that people will be coming to their homes.
In 1990, the county social services asked if Yogaville would consider serving the needy seniors. The local churches and organizations were covering needy children but no one was serving the seniors. So, CIB immediately changed to that list, which is updated each year. In addition to generic gifts, each recipient gets a personally sized clothing gift, a new blanket, or something else needed that is a bit more costly than what they might otherwise afford. A program to provide “baby baskets” of needed food and supplies to indigent expectant mothers was also launched.
Integral Yoga Minister, Rev. Dhyani, serves as head of the Disaster Action Team (part of the American Red Cross) for Buckingham county. DAT’s mission is to provide immediate relief (food, clothing, furniture etc.) for individuals or families affected by disaster (floods, fires, etc.). Most recently, DAT distributed free home smoke alarms to county residents.
Environmental Disaster Prevention
Yogaville Environmental Solutions (YES) is a new undertaking to support, and adopt, sustainable energy practices and to oppose the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP). Yogaville community members serve as part of YES and Friends of Buckingham (FOB) to organize opposition to the negative environmental impact of the ACP.
Working jointly with neighboring counties also threatened by this project, YES and FOB help local residents to learn more about the ACP and to express their concerns and opposition to it through writing letters to their representatives, newspapers, and to the organizations and governing bodies that are involved in the pipeline approval and construction process.