The spark that gave rise to Prafull Oorja was a stroll around the neighborhood. “While I was walking, a young boy said hello to me,” recalls Sowmya, “I was very happy to meet him, though his caretaker tried to stop him from talking to me. It turned out he was a special child who could not control his speech.”
Sowmya, who has a master’s degree in yoga, domestic violence and the environment, approached the child’s family later and asked them to let him try yoga classes. “They accepted immediately,” she says. “From one kid we expanded to 10, and then started classes at the Tamahar center in Malleswaram. It paved the way for seven other schools and centers across Bangalore.”
Sowmya started her venture with Madeleine Sears. “When you are alone your capability for action is limited,” she says. Things changed when the team started expanding. “The mathematics of teams is that 1+1=3, meaning that when people support each other they can more than double the results they would get individually,” she says.
- Train and educate yoga therapists in utilizing yoga for social and inner transformation.
- Implement sustainable yoga programs with communities in vulnerable conditions.
- Act as an agent between yoga therapists and communities in vulnerable conditions.
- Create economic opportunities for communities with conscious yoga products.
To empower and enhance the lives of individuals and communities in vulnerable communities through yoga and holistic practices.
While we strive to practice all the characters of a true yogi in our lives, our administration, our classes, and our products, Prafull Oorja focuses on:
- Seva/ Service: To have an attitude of gratitude while teaching or implementing any program or administrative task. The services we each provide makes our organization whole and wholesome.
- Sangha/ Conscious Community: Sangha: We do this service as a team. We support one another, and we find support from our team of therapists, administrative and other members, and from participants. All parts are required for Prafull Oorja to be successful in developing its vision.
- Sustainability: We want our organization to be sustainable in manifold ways: a. programs to be carried out in a way that the lessons will be lifelong; often, this means weekly programs, or intense teaching and guiding. b. our team members should be duly compensated for their energy and effort as a part of an energy exchange, for funding is required for longitudinal service and capacity building in the individuals we serve and even ourselves.
- Karuna: A feeling of compassion and empathy should always guide our work, recognizing ourselves in the “other”.
Prafull Oorja Leadership
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Prafull Oorja is focused on working with the global community through its alignment with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Our work spans the following SDGs:
#3: Good Health and Good Health and Well Being— Our dedication to the field of yoga and yoga therapy brings health and well being to people in vulnerable communities, and also keeps our own teachers in a healthy physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state.
#4: Quality Education— We partner with several private schools that cater to unique student populations, in order to provide respite, relief, and opportunity to children in need.”
#10: Reduced Inequalities— Our services reach some of the most under-resourced communities, people living in extreme vulnerable conditions. This includes special needs and disabilities, prison remand homes, and rural communities. We take yoga practices and philosophies to these groups in a sustainable, long-term method, allowing true empowerment over a period of time. We also engage the adult communities to develop yoga products for sale, making them a true part of the yoga community, and providing an income source for our organization and the special needs adults.”
#16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: We are aimed at strengthening the partner organizations we serve by creating peace in individuals they cater to, and thereby building peace throughout the community and society.
#17: Partnerships for the Goals: Our Yoga Therapists act as consultants and all our programs are conducted by partnership with other grassroots organizations.