The High Five Initiative celebrates the Ashok Tree Foundation

The High Five Initiative celebrates the Ashok Tree Foundation

Yogamatters is delighted to welcome the Ashok Tree Foundation to the High Five Initiative. The High Five Initiative is Yogamatters’ exciting new community scheme for 2017, which aims to support and encourage a range of great projects which are all transforming lives, renewing hope and working for a better future, both here in the UK and around the world.

Here at Yogamatters, we believe in the transformative power of yoga for everyone. We’re committed to a global community, where every individual is valued, respected, cared for and interconnected. As an outworking of our yoga practice, we strive to demonstrate compassion for people and planet and adopt an attitude of gratitude in all things. And we believe in the power of story. Individual stories from all around the world.

The Ashok Tree Foundation is founded on kindness. Kindness in action. Kindness for those who need it the most. Kindness in providing food to reverse the effects of malnutrition and to help children grow into kind and loving people themselves. Kindness in providing health care that is committed to prevention and awareness.

The team at the Ashok Tree Foundation firmly believe that it is in helping and sharing that each one of us reveals the kindness and compassion of one’s heart. It is an integral part of our yoga practice. Giving purifies the soul.

When people truly give of themselves to help others, they receive far more in return.

The Ashok Tree Foundation website

The Foundation works for change with one community in particular: the community where Yogi Ashokananda has his India base at the Ashok Tree Centre in Tiruvannamalai. The Yogi Ashokananda Foundation is a registered charitable trust in India continuously working on developing community projects. In 2008, Yogi Ashokananda established the Sita Devi Charity School which provides education for primary school children and vocational training, which now has its premises at the Ashok Tree Centre.

The Ashok Tree Foundation is a UK headquartered charity which supports this work. It sustains the work of the Sita Devi Yogamaya Charity School. Education gives the next generation an opportunity to change their futures.; yoga and meditation help to create balance. Since 2014, the Foundation has been providing healthy snacks (fruit and nuts) and a daily hot meal to the students and staff at Sita Devi Charity School. This means that in the June 2016 school year, 86 students, 5 teachers and 1 assistant have been fed throughout the school year, 6 days a week.

In this community, the Foundation provides an education to the young and services to the elderly and needy. It strives to build two-way partnerships between the locals in the communities and the Foundation’s active trustees and volunteers. There’s a home for the elderly and a food project for the community. It’s all about developing healthy bodies and minds. Health and wellbeing underpin everything that they do. In 2016, the Ashok Tree Foundation launched a new project to build homes for the elderly on the land adjacent to the school, thanks to the sponsorship of a specific donor.

Melvyn Carlile, Managing Director at Mind Body Spirit London Wellbeing Festival is the Chairman and a trustee of the Ashok Tree Foundation. Yogi Ashokananda is Vice Chair and Trustee (to find out more about him, read the Yogamatters’ interview with him To Sit With Yogi Ashokananda.

The Ashok Tree Foundation invites each one of us to join them in reaching out in kindness to help people along the journey of life in the following ways:-

• participate in yoga events held in the UK, like a weekly community Himalayan Hatha Yoga session or meditation class in London
• consider volunteering: the Foundation is always seeking new volunteers with specific skills
• sponsor a child to help provide the necessities for a healthy and successful start to life
• follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
• subscribe to their newsletter
• visit the Ashok Tree Foundation online shop, where you can buy bricks, shoes, a tree, a monthly lunch box, books for a year and a water bottle

Now that the Ashok Tree Foundation is part of the High Five Initiative, Yogamatters will keep you informed of the work of the Foundation via its blog. Yogamatters has committed to providing 100 yoga mats and blankets for the Sita Devi Yogamaya Charity School in India, so that the children will no longer have to practise their daily yoga on the bare ground.

Here at Yogamatters, we’re looking forward to developing this relationship with the Ashok Tree Foundation further. The mission statement of the Foundation can be summed up with one word: HUMANITY. Humanity is at the heart of every yoga practice and so as yogis, we embrace this work to promote humanity in this remote area of India.

May your feet have the courage to walk where your heart beats.

Yogi Ashokananda

Project Manager and trustee, Michele Carvalho, welcomes the involvement of the High Five Initiative:

The partnership and support of the team at Yogamatters is a natural fit as our beliefs and ability to make an impact are strongly aligned, a yoga way of life helping to grow healthy bodies and minds together. We are truly excited with working with you and the team at Yogamatters from a charitable perspective.

Michele Carvalho

So welcome to the High Five Initiative to everyone involved with the Ashok Tree Foundation! We think you’re doing a great job and look forward to finding out much, much more.