6 Great Ways To Immerse Yourself In Service

Immerse Yourself in Service

Seva, as volunteer work is called in Indian traditions, is important to many yogis. Serving the higher good and humanity as a whole is an important part of being a yogi, deepening your connection with yourself, and growing as a spiritual being. Many yoga teachers find it’s important to engage in seva work as a way to give back to the universe that has empowered them to teach yoga and make a living.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Everybody can be great because anybody can serve." There are many ways in which to get involved in service opportunities of all types. Options range from highly structured to individually-based, and come at the international, domestic, and local levels.

No matter how you get involved, you and those around you are bound to benefit in a multitude of ways. If you want to help out, but don’t know where to get started here are just a few ideas:

Volunteer organizations

Highly structured service operations like the Red Cross are available in most cities and even small towns. They are incredibly organized, and allow for specificity of tasks. It is easy to feel like you are a part of something bigger as well as a sense of accomplishment in established organizations.

Large organisations that routinely need volunteers include:

Religiously Affiliated Opportunities

Churches and other religious communities offer many opportunities for service. While they often referred to it as "missions," it is still the same kind of chance to immerse yourself in service at many levels. Many churches offer international service opportunities, national, and numerous community based volunteer options.  

Common Church-affiliated volunteer opportunities include:

  • Food pantry
  • Soup kitchen
  • Prison ministry
  • Youth ministry
  • Homeless shelters

Empowerment Work

Kiva is dedicated to helping people around the world better their lives and become empowered members of their societies. Kiva often needs volunteers to go to communities and train, educate, and empower people on how to be successful small business owners, farmers, and caregivers.

The Literacy Volunteers of America focuses on helping adults learn how to read. There are millions of adults right here in America who can’t read or have a low proficiency and this prevents them from finding work and furthering their careers.

Opportunities are regularly popping up on Yoga Trade for yoga teachers looking to immerse themselves in service at yoga centers and ashrams where they can empower students to take charge of their health and wellness.

Service Learning Courses

In colleges and universities across the nation, service learning or a volunteer component is becoming popular in general education and distance education curriculum courses. Of course you have the opportunity to take these courses whether you are enrolled full-time or just take one class. Many online degrees in international relations, for example, include a service component to their courses in order for students to gain experience and networking opportunities.

Local Charities

Community-based service opportunities abound. In all cities and small towns, there are always opportunities to help. Whether that means being part of an official volunteer group, or just asking around at local schools, nursing homes, hospitals, or animal shelters to find out where there is a need.

Some locations may have a volunteer coordinator, and others you may talk with the general director to find out where you can be of assistance. Many local charities are run with the support of churches, so it may behoove you to start to start asking your local churches.

Self-Driven

Immersing yourself in a life of service does not necessitate an organization or group. Sometimes it just means helping anyone you see in your life that needs it. A small way to start is engaging in random acts of kindness. Help someone carry their groceries to their car, mow your neighbor's yard, or take a meal to a family who is struggling. Consider offering free yoga classes at your park or at a church for at risk youth, or to help those who cannot afford yoga.

There are so many ways to immerse yourself in service at the local, national, or international level. There are always people and places that need help, and everyone has something to offer. Even if it's small, it's never insignificant. 

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