Respect for Yourself.
Respect for Each Other.
The Sean O’Shea Foundation
When beloved La Jolla Yoga instructor Sean O’Shea was killed in a tragic car accident in 2007, the Yoga community mourned. Gatherings, vigils and memorials all resonated with the same sound…“We must continue his work.” Sean’s mother Gloria O’Shea heard the call. Transforming her grief into action, Gloria began the Sean O’Shea Foundation, an organization catering to “At-Risk” Youth in Title One Schools. The program took form with auspicious invocations and input from Sean’s closest friends and fellow yogis (including Matisa Flury, Tim Miller and Brian Ruiz). The goal was to empower youth with the fundamentals of evolution “Respect for Yourself. Respect for Each Other.”
The curriculum includes a seven-week in-school program of Yoga and nutrition. “The first week we bring in a slice of jicama and all the kids say ‘Eeewe what’s that?’” says Gloria. “But by the end of the course, they ask for more jicama.” A healthy foods buffet introduces students to organic fruits and vegetables and participants are taught how to read nutrition labels, substitute for fresh food choices and shop on a budget. The physical Yoga creates a sense of self, seemingly missing in many classrooms. Students are taught to look within themselves, a concept most are unfamiliar with. “The transformation is amazing,” exalts Gloria.
With eighteen participating schools in San Diego, The Sean O’ Shea Foundation seeks to broaden their reach to Los Angeles County. They are currently seeking a pilot school and teachers interested in participating in their program. To learn more about The Sean O’Shea Foundation, visit: seanosheafoundation.org or email: [email protected]
Say Yes Now: Ramana’s Garden
I am having an amazing day,” Dr. Prabhavati Dwabha exclaims, her voice filled with pulsating prana. “Our organization is called ‘Say Yes Now’ the whole thing is, the more you give, the more you get back, so you create a different reality for the world.” The reality for this former Angeleno is Ramana’s Garden, the orphanage and school she built in Northern India. “If I even tried to take responsibility for just one part of my day,” Dr. Dwabha pauses. “It’s just so clear it’s just happening through us.”
What began as one small medical clinic and primary school has blossomed into an orphanage for fifty-five destitute children as well as thirteen elementary and two junior high schools providing education, Yoga, hot lunch and medical treatment “The children just LOVE to practice Yoga.” They also get noted yogis visiting, for instance, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa visits Ramana’s Garden annually. The students are impoverished youth from sixty-four rural villages, roadside dwellings, shanties and the pavement; their numbers seem to multiply daily. “When a three-year-old shows up at the gate, holding his infant brother, you just can’t turn them away.”
Having come from devastation beyond most Westerner’s understanding (including child prostitution and slavery), youngsters are encouraged to focus on the now. “For us, the whole idea is to build from the ‘Is-ness’” radiates Dr. Dwabha. “Oh, this happened, well, great, God thinks you have the strength. You make the difference.”
Amy V. Dewhurst, can be seen in her seen on her self-produced series, VPTV at: VenicePaparazzi.com. She lives, loves and surfs in Venice, CA.
By Amy V. Dewhurst
Amy V. Dewhurst is the President of Sense + Color. She has spent more than a decade, building brands, creating content, and ensuring success for projects, and personalities globally. Learn more about her at @sense_and_color