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Monday, November 26, 2018

How I described Seva Yoga to Julie Owens our MP


I had the opportunity to meet with Julie Owens (member of parliament) a couple of weeks ago and you might be wondering why, so I'll tell you quickly.

photographed by: Balzinder Balz
I simply needed guidance from someone that had their finger on Parramatta's pulse and were deeply invested in the community's greater well being. I had met Julie Owens a few times at the local festivals and always found her to be interested in promoting multiculturalism. I found that she saw things from a broader perspective and was highly appreciative of the diversity in Parramatta. So I wanted to reach out to her for some guidance for how I could connect better with this community with the services we offer at Seva.

Our name Seva itself means self-less action and the tag line Compassionate Action is a mindset to serve from a place of having felt our own pain to offer connection to others in a meaningful way. Yoga and Ayurveda have always supported me to care for myself compassionately and I personally think that with the rise of the digital age there is a huge shift toward the laptop lifestyle. This is where its more convenient to do things via a screen than in person which is why there has also been a bigger demand for yoga and alternative self-care education. The education needs to be made available to everyone so they become empowered and know how to support their personal lifestyle with skills and awareness which keep them connected to their body and emotions at all cost.

Even though Julie recognized me, she needed some clarification on how Seva Yoga is different to other studios and alternative arts in the area. She said she had recently met with "Traditional" yoga and "Hot" yoga studio owners from the area and that they were indeed very different from each other, and while I felt sad she had not yet come to visit us, I knew it was my fault for not having advertised our studio better. So I gave her a brief run down on what we are doing differently to respond to the need for better education in mental health and self-care in the community:

1) I explained to her that Seva Yoga is an independent brand of yoga. It is offering mentored training programs that teach students how to integrate yoga into daily life, which goes beyond just the physical practice. Its a brand that promotes an individualized and holistic approach to mental health; an issue our generation is uncomfortable talking about until it goes out of hand. What we mean by individual branding means is that while there is a lineage we borrow our practices from, we follow a person centered protocol to teach ways to adopt individualized practices through mentoring and developing relationships.

2) We offer Ayurveda and Yoga in our curriculum both as regular practice and therapeutically. This means it is a full circle practice and pathway for holistic health care. It considers that to be able to practice and benefit fully from Yoga, we don't practice harder poses without the right preparations. To meditate we don't just keep sitting through pain and distractions. But we begin to take the practice beyond the yoga mat. There has to be an awareness to diet, mindset and lifestyle that prepares and keeps the body in a state to practice yoga and meditation. This is what makes any or all the difference to the person in the long run. Traditionally Yoga is taught 1 on 1 and this is the reason for it. Otherwise we are all like hamsters on a wheel, running the same wheel day in and out.

3) Lastly, it's always been about connection and community at Seva. Whenever possible and successfully throughout the years we host events, completely free to the public and our members. We believe in inclusivity, family, collaboration and involving the community in celebrating life, health and spirituality. Diversity is a big part of the scene at Seva and we appreciate that everyone's culture has so much color and richness that we each can learn from.

During our conversation about the attention to diet and lifestyle, Julie shared about her own morning routine, and tips on how to peel a boiled egg without getting the shell stuck. She mentioned that she mentors other busy people to embrace being inconsistent and okay with self-care (which I will write about on another article) and on the topic of self-care I got to share with Julie how to make gas free lentil curry  :) :) she loved the science of it (aka Ayurveda).

She said she will come and visit us but told me to focus a little more on connecting with the right audience in the area.

So it was helpful to meet her in that I came away knowing just how different we are to other studios in the neighborhood. So in 2019 I will focus on raising more awareness of our studio in this way  while continuing to run the holistic self-care programs we already run for Corporations and Individuals from Beginners to Masters.

So, I was wondering if you've been reflecting on your yoga journey at Seva at all? Do you feel that you could support yourself better by improving your knowledge on self-care? My only advice is don't put your health at number 2 of your priorities list. If you have any questions, I have some time this year during the week days to chat with you. So feel free to book in a free 30 minute discovery call to know more about our programs or just what you can do right away to support your well being journey.

Our Programs in 2019 to help Personalize Self-care are:
*Private Ayurveda & Yoga Consultations - 2 hour
*200 Hour Practice & Health Mentorship
*500 Hour Certified Integrative Yoga Teacher Training

Supriya Roy (Ayurveda Practitioner and Founder of Seva Yoga)

Hey, if there is something you think we do differently to other studios, and its not mentioned here, let us know HERE