Photos taken from a two day yoga and meditation course conducted by Dr. ALV Kumar in April 2015 for the 600 inmates of Central Prison, Chanchalguda, Hyderabad.
Free outdoor yoga and health awareness workshops in India. Participants are taught how yoga can be used to prevent and treat many common health disorders through yoga practice and a healthy diet.
In the UK the donations that we receive allow us to keep offering courses on a donation basis in order to make them accessible for all. We fund bursaries and subsidized places for all our courses which have a fee.
Workshops and teacher training courses in India address the growing levels of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancer and the increasing dependency on pharmaceuticals.
The Yoga Healing Foundation (registered charity number 1153094) runs from the energy and vision of Dr Kumar, an inspirational teacher, supported by a dedicated team of volunteers. We deliver our courses under the name of Traditional Yoga.
The aim of The Yoga Healing Foundation is to restore an understanding of the relationship of the different limbs of yoga and to present this knowledge in its original, whole and undiluted practical form for the benefit of all practitioners and teachers.
Across the UK we run weekend courses, weekly classes, workshops, meditation teacher training courses, lectures and a 10 day summer meditation retreat. In India we help to fund a range of local yoga and meditation programs and events, including yoga teacher training courses and a 15 day winter meditation retreat.
The courses are all run as a charitable not-for profit activity. They cover both theory and practice of Hatha and Raja Yoga, for the purpose of promoting the study and practice of traditional yoga, advancing the education of the public in its healing, preventative and therapeutic effects, and promoting the mental, physical and spiritual health of the public.
“Yoga means getting on well with everything in life: getting on well with the food we eat, the air we breathe, the environment we live in, the people we live with and the work we do.” – Dr Kumar
The work of the Yoga Healing Foundation is guided by two yogic principles, seva and dana.
Seva, translated as selfless service is an important principle in the yoga tradition. It is based on the value of working for others without expectation of personal reward. Karma yoga, which means the ‘path of action’, helps us to develop the qualities of acceptance, gratitude, helpfulness and generosity. Karma yoga is described in the Bhagvad Gita as “wisdom in work.” Dr Kumar and the weekend course teachers work on a voluntary basis.
Dana is the virtue of unconditional generosity and unattached giving through donation to a good cause. Dana is one of the ten ‘perfected virtues’ taught by Buddha. The act of giving a donation in gratitude for the teaching is an opportunity for participants in our courses to develop the quality of selfless generosity. We run our courses on a donation basis, supported by a course fee that covers basic accommodation costs. This allows us to keep our course fees to a minimum. Donations are used to sustain the charity, offer bursary places for UK students and support our charitable projects in India.
Our Charitable Programs
The Yoga Healing Foundation aims to protect, revive and disseminate original, undiluted and complete yogic knowledge (both theory and practice) in its purest form for the benefit of the public and public wellbeing in the UK and India.
In the UK we deliver this through courses and training programs. All Traditional Yoga weekend courses are led by experienced teachers who have undergone extensive training and choose to teach on a voluntary basis. Their support enables us to offer courses at a low cost and to bring the benefits of meditation to as many people as possible. All the money raised from our weekend courses and retreats is reinvested back into the charity and used to fund our charitable programs. We fund full bursaries and partially subsidized places for all our courses which have a fee.
Yoga is a tradition that has been passed down through generations of teachers in India and many practices and techniques are as yet unknown in the West and in mainstream yoga schools. Many of these practices are dying out and are increasingly difficult to access. The Charity’s aim is to protect the completeness of the yoga tradition and ensure that knowledge is not lost but rather revived for the benefit of practitioners and teachers regardless of geographical location and/or language barriers.
The Charity has an established connection to India, primarily to guarantee its authenticity at source but also as a means to safeguard the continuation of traditional knowledge in its original cultural setting for the benefit of future generations.
Charitable grants to support projects in India
We make charitable grants to Yoga Healing Foundation India, with whom we have an established collaborative relationship, to organize and deliver programs that align to our aims and objectives.
Hyderabad has a population of about 7.75 million, making it the fourth most populous city in India. Like all Indian cities it has seen a sharp rise in lifestyle diseases and a decline of traditional knowledge such as yoga practice and dietary awareness. For example, a survey conducted by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry found that 68% of urban women in India between 21 and 52 suffer from lifestyle diseases such as obesity, depression, chronic backache, diabetes, hypertension and generalized anxiety disorder.
The programs in India focus on addressing this problem by raising awareness of the health benefits of yoga, diet and complementary therapies, that are now supported by a substantial body of peer reviewed published research.
The programs that we fund include:
- Large scale free public yoga and health awareness workshops, These take place outdoors in public parks and are attended by between 800 and 1000 people per year.
- Free symposiums and seminars addressing particular topics; free guest lectures for particular institutions, organizations and professional communities
- Free knowledge sharing sessions
- Residential meditation courses
- Yoga centres have been hired and established throughout the city on a permanent basis to provide an ongoing resource for teachers and students. These provide free morning and evening yoga classes for local communities.
The Yoga Healing Foundation Public Benefit Statement
The most significant benefits to the public, arising from the Charity’s aims and activities, are:-
- Improved mental, physical and spiritual health, healing and development. All of the Charity’s activities are directed for open access to everyone wishing to participate in the study and practice of yoga, regardless of cultural background, belief system/religion, age or socioeconomic status. The Charity’s programmes cater to people of all levels of ability and experience from complete beginners to advanced practitioners/ teachers. The Charity aims to directly benefit those who are not “traditional” participators of yoga and meditation.
- An increased public awareness of the ancient science of yoga, in terms of both practice and theory, including the traditional values of yoga in its completeness and in response to the growing commerciality and “branding” of ancient yogic practices.
- A revival of traditional knowledge (of both theory and practice) that is in danger of being forgotten, overlooked or lost.
- An increased recognition and awareness of the benefits of yoga and support for further research into these benefits and publication of the results.
- The opportunity for a wider section of the public to have access to high quality teaching that covers the breadth and depth of traditional yoga practices (particularly guidance in meditation).
- To provide (in the longer-term) national coverage of fully-trained (and under continuous development) “approved” Yoga Foundation / Traditional Yoga teachers, enhancing both public access (in geographic terms) but also the quality of education and teaching.
Please feel free to email us for a copy of our full Public Benefit Statement.
If you would like to get involved or volunteer for the charity please contact us.