Bluffton yoga studio takes part in global celebration

Special to The Bluffton PacketOctober 24, 2011 

In an effort to help promote peace, yoga studios in the area will host events as part of the Global Mala Yoga for Peace Project.

"It's a day that yoga studios around the world celebrate world peace by dedicating yoga and the practices of yoga to world peace," said Carrie Wandall, owner of YogiVeda in Bluffton. "It has also an underlying theme of teaching the benefits and history of yoga to make yoga a little bit more mainstream for people so people understand it a little better."

September is Yoga Month, and the Global Mala Project has been a part of the month since 2007. For the project, yogis, or people who practice yoga, aim to unite to spread peace around the world.

The word "mala" means garland in Sanskrit. A mala traditionally has 108 beads that are linked together. It is similar to a rosary.

According to the Mala Project's website, events all over the world will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, YogiVeda will host a variety of activities for people to help with the Mala Project and to learn more about yoga in general.

The first event of the day will be a "metta," a Sanskrit word for loving kindness, meditation, Wandall said.

"We'll be starting out thinking loving thoughts about ourselves, about the people that love us, about our friends and ultimately even those people who may be difficult in our lives," she said.

The studio will also have a Kirtan session in which the group will sing 108 oms. "Kirtan" is singing in Sanskrit. Wandall said the 108 oms is very spiritual within the realm of yoga.

"Om, being a kind of magical healing sound of yoga, and 108 being an auspicious number in yoga," she said.

All of the events at YogiVeda are open to the public. People who attend will be asked for a monetary donation, as well as a nonperishable food item. The money raised will go to The Orphan Foundation, a group that strives to help orphans so they are able to be adopted. The food will go to Bluffton Self Help.

Dancing Dogs in Beaufort will also have a free yoga class from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 29 in observation of Global Mala, studio owner Shelley Lowther said. In the past, Dancing Dogs participated in a larger Savannah event, but Lowther said the Savannah group decided to scale back this year.

Lowther said her studio would also be participating in Yoga Aid on Oct. 2. Yoga Aid is another yoga-based global project that raises money for a small group of charities. Dancing Dogs is aiming to help the Africa Yoga Project.

Jean Rioux, owner of the Jiva Yoga Center on Hilton Head Island, said her studio is also participating in Yoga Aid, but not in Global Mala.

Wandall said participating in the event gives people the opportunity to support a meaningful cause.

"It's representative of everybody linking together across the world like the beads of the mala are linked together for one cause," she said. "It's really an amazing weekend where you know that what you're doing -- the meditations, the postures -- are being done by other yogis across the world, and it just adds to the feeling. It just feels good."

Schedule of events for Global Mala

  • WHERE: YogiVeda, 163 Bluffton Road, Bluffton

  • WHEN: Saturday

  • 9 a.m. -- Metta meditation

    9:30 a.m. -- Peace Warriors mixed-level yoga class

    10:45 a.m. -- 108 Oms

    11 a.m. -- Kirtan Concert

    Noon -- Vegetarian potluck meal

    1 p.m. -- History of yoga class

    2 p.m. -- Yoga for beginners

  • COST: Donation to The Orphan Foundation and a canned good item for Bluffton Self Help

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