Seva - Selfless Service

What can you do for your community? How do you do it? The yogic practice of Seva - selfless service.

As a yoga teacher who is also a blogger I was asked by Master Yoga the organization that trains Svaroopa ® Yoga Teachers to be part of a Seva team to help create a blog for them. Your first thought might be what is Seva? In Sanskrit Seva means service. It really means selfless service and is sometimes called Karma Yoga or yoga in action.

If you have a Senior in high school you know exactly what I mean as you help your child fill in their activity resume with different community service projects they have done. You even may have done some yourself, I know I have spent years driving first Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts around town for the annual Scouting for Food drive that benefits the Westborough food pantry (coming up soon, please don't forget).

The question I propose to you though is when you were doing your community service was it truly selfless? If you hope to gain something from it, like a great topic for a college essay, or have everyone tell you what a great thing you did then it really isn't selfless service. If you complained while you were driving around town and picking up bags of food it isn't selfless, it isn't Seva. Seva is sometimes called Karma Yoga or yoga in action because instead of lying on the floor and doing yoga poses you are out in the world doing good without attachment to the outcome.

What truly makes it Seva is when you do a service for someone or some organization because it needs to be done and with no expectation of a reward. You may get that pat on the back anyway, or your child might write an incredible essay but that wasn't why you set out to do your service. Remember to be true Seva doesn't mean you have to go out and end world hunger, though I wish you could. It can be as simple as holding open the door for an elderly person even though they don't thank you, or saying hello to someone who maybe lonely.  Maybe it is giving back to an organization like Master Yoga which has trained and certified me to teach this incredible style of yoga - Svaroopa®.  It is not about what you do, but the how you do it. An easy way to remember is Seva – service with a smile!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Heather October 10, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Yay Carol! Great article. I know you and your family do Seva right. We are teaching our 3 year old the importance of helping others because it's the right thing to do. We've started by visiting our elderly 87 year neighbor whenever we can. Thanks for writing and sharing this article! I need me some Svaroopa! I will hopefully be back to the studio soon.


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