Through the discipline of yoga, Karma Activist Annu Gaidhu learned to pay attention to her body, to practice self-love as a path to healing, and since then it has become her lifestyle. Her experiences teaching in India changed her outlook on life.
“Working with Tibetan refugees was a transformative experience that led me to take seriously my obligation as a global citizen. The children I worked with were orphans living in a monastery—these children experience poverty on a level that is staggering, and they rely entirely on sponsorship to meet the most basic food, shelter, and healthcare needs. These children have undertaken a monastic life in order to escape the terrible poverty of their home environments. I believe that by providing them with an environment in which they can safely learn and play, they will be transformed. I also believe that working with these children has the power to transform people around the world.
When my personal journey met my advocacy as Miss India Canada 2014, I decided to use my platform as a way to raise awareness and funds for underprivileged children and youth in India, the country that gave birth to yoga. I called my initiative the ‘Healing Hearts Project’. Because that was my goal, to heal hearts..The one reason I do what I do is because of the returns I receive in the form of love.”
Her current fundraising model provides donation based yoga classes wherein all proceeds raised help support sustainable development projects related to food, shelter and education for exiled Tibetan refugee children that are living in India.
“A moment that has left a lasting impact on me would be this year, witnessing the site of a newly built playground when it was just a piece of land where the kids used two by fours of wood and garbage cans to play cricket during their break time.
Last year, with the help of sponsors, and Flow-Active’s Free Yoga At High Park yoga classes all summer long, this life-changing project was able to take root in just 8 months.
When I first saw it built this year, there were students playing basketball, running around together, laughing. The enthusiasm brought tears to my eyes. And it still does because they finally have a place to play, a place to just be kids. Seeing the parallels between two different ways of living, and the immeasurable difference in a child’s life, karma and service work has, sticks with you forever.”
Currently, Annu is working on the following projects:
Yoga for Water is a water initiative to raise funds to build a sustainable, water purification system to help give these children access to safe and pure drinking water.
Yoga for Food is a food security initiative to help raise funds to supply the monastery monthly with nutritious and adequate food supplies.
Learn more at: http://www.healingheartsproject.com/projects