Compassion and service are at the heart of yoga philosophy. Many of us see overwhelming inequities in the world today and want to help, but don’t know where or how to start.
Today’s guest on the podcast would have us simply “start, by starting”. Host Rachel talks with the Yoga Medicine Seva Foundation Director, and a Sisters of the Planet Ambassador with Oxfam America, Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham. As well as being a yoga instructor, Amanda has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a Master’s in Teaching, but it was her years of traveling the world that inspired her life’s work.
In this episode, we discuss the Seva Foundation’s mission to combat human trafficking by empowering women and children through all kinds of education, be it formal, vocational or practical.
Listen in to learn how to create space to process the secondary trauma that can come with service work, and why it pays to focus on the ripple effect you can create through small acts rather than trying to change the world.
“My job here in my lifetime is to simply plant a seed and hope that people behind me water it.” – Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham
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“Share, care, and do.” – Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham
- The start of Amanda’s passion for travel: 10 years on a boat [2:52]
- How travel ignites compassion [5:31]
- Yoga as Amanda’s stabilizing anchor [10:35]
- “Moving back to land” [13:25]
- Open a yoga studio in search of expansion and connection [16:01]
- Finding Yoga Medicine and the first Seva trip to India [17:50]
- Yoga Medicine Seva Foundation’s mission [20:32]
- Making space to process secondary trauma in order to take action [24:03]
- Life-changing impacts from education [32:46] Human trafficking’s mind-boggling scope [37:47]
- The ripple effect of changing just one life [39:23]
- “Start by starting”: the work of Her Future Coalition and the Seva Foundation [43:05]
- How service work changes us [47:46]
- Ways to get involved with the Seva Foundation [52:30]
- Watch this episode on YouTube
- Connect with Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham:
“Yoga pulled me back and was like, hey no, process what you learned today.” – Amanda Bonfiglio Cunningham