The 11.11.11 Kundalini Yoga and Music Festival is certain to be a life changing event. It’s an opportunity to practice Kundalini yoga on the banks of the Ganges river with countless other yogis, immersed in the sacred environment of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Renowned teachers and musicians like Guru Dev Singh, Gurmukh, Guru Singh, Snatam Kaur, Deva Premal and Miten with Manose, will guide you through yoga, meditation, and mantras to elevate your heart and guide you into the Aquarian Age.  It will be a magical experience!

But yoga is about more than just improving our own lives.  The example of H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, our host at Parmarth Niketan, is one of service and love. With the help of Yoga Aid, through our yoga practice we have the opportunity to perform seva, to give back, and to change the world around us. On November 8, 2011, the 11.11.11 Festival is proud to join with Yoga Aid to raise money for several wonderful charitable organizations in and around Rishikesh, India.

Yoga Aid started in 2006, when two yogis decided that they wanted to use yoga to help raise money for international charities. The idea is simple: yogis sign up to take a free 2 hour yoga class, and then seek sponsors to raise money for the one of Yoga Aid’s designated charities. You can set your own fund raising goal, or join a team and help raise money as a group. To date, Yoga Aid has raised over $1,000,000 USD for charity, and has held events around the world.

By participating in the Yoga Aid India Challenge, or by sponsoring a participant, you can help support one of the following four charities:

Ramana’s Garden Orphanage – Part of a rural development assistance project that has been working in the villages of the Garhwal, Uttaranchal, India for the last 12 years, the orphanage houses “55 children and provides a modern and high quality education for 137 children [from nearby villages].” A contribution to Ramana’s Garden Orphanage will help them to meet the educational needs of their students.

India Heritage Research Foundation – This non-profit, humanitarian organization is chaired by H.H. Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, one of the teachers of the Yoga Aid India Challenge class. IHRF has many projects dealing with women’s and children’s welfare, including “the Sanskar Vidya Mandir school where nearly 225 poor children from nursery through 8th class receive free education.” This school is on the grounds of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, where the 11.11.11 festival will take place. A contribution to IHRF will help them to build 6 additional free schools, and educate an additional 1000 children.

Khushi Charitable Society – this 100% volunteer based organization seeks to improved the physical and educational well-being of underprivileged children, provide them with vocational training, and empower them “to improve the socioeconomic conditions of their families for generations to come.” A contribution to Khushi Charitable Society will help them to build the Khushi Center, a community education center for participating children and motivated local residents.

Friends of Manjushree Vidyapith School and Orphanage – Founded in 1998 by Lama Thupten Phuntsok, this organization currently houses approximately 150 children and seeks to educate them so they might “enter the world as confident young adults full of peace, love and compassion for others.” A contribution to Friends of Manjushree will help them to expand their facilities, creating more housing and recreational space.

Visit the Yoga Aid India Challenge site today to sign up or to become a sponsor. We’ll be joined by Chardhi Kala Jatha, Guru Dass, Shyamdas, and Kartar Singh through the course of the challenge day!

Join us in India for 11.11.11!

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