• Clean Water for Over 300 Kids in Kolkata, India

    Thanks to Omstars, MiiR, and the 8,823 compassionate yogis who participated in the July 2018 #HandstandMechanicsChallenge, Splash will ensure clean water, hands and toilets for over 300 kids at two schools in Kolkata, India.

    It was during a trip to Seattle, Washington, that Kino first came across the flagship location of MiiR, a registered B-corporation that gives a portion of all sales to organizations with sustainable methods of empowerment, like Splash! Thus, the 3-way partnership between Omstars, MiiR and Splash was born!

    The two schools, Bastuhara Vidyapith Primary School and Jnanendu Siksha Niketan High School share a campus in Kolkata’s Tangra neighborhood, which is being rapidly transformed by population growth and construction. As a result, the property prices in this area are quite high, resulting in pockets of slums in between high-rise towers where many of the students live.

    The schools are not only situated close to the Dhapa landfill – the biggest dump in the city, which operates at unsustainable rates today – they also lack adequate infrastructure to provide their students with clean water. While water is widely available at school, it is typically contaminated with E. Coli and other water-borne illnesses. With 94% of schools in Kolkata lacking soap for handwashing and over 30% of toilets with no water for flushing or doors or locks for privacy it can be difficult for kids to stay healthy.

    This is where Splash comes in with its innovative WASH-in-Schools model that includes:

    1. Installing the enabling infrastructure, including water filtration systems, water storage to ensure access, handwashing and drinking water stations, and child-friendly sanitation facilities.
    2. Delivering behaviour change programs for children and adults. This includes training focal teachers through an engaging, activity-based curriculum and supporting them to instruct student hygiene clubs on how to engage their peers in positive behaviours, such as handwashing.
    3. Creating a WASH ecosystem to ensure programme sustainability. This includes co-investment from schools and government, operations and maintenance training for school janitorial staff, school incentives through recognition programs, engaging parents through soap drives, and building local supply chains to ensure availability of spare parts and repair services.
    4. Conducting routine monitoring and evaluationof project sites. To ensure continuous learning and program improvement, Splash conducts pre and post-intervention assessments at each school, followed by five years of routine monitoring, twice per year.

    Because of companies like MiiR and all of you caring, kind, and motivated yogis out there, together, we will be able to help hundreds of more kids stay healthy, excel in school, and unlock their full potential. With your support, kids at schools like Bastuhara Vidyapith and Jnanendu Siksha Niketan can thrive!

    Who is Splash?

    Splash believes that every child deserves to have clean water, clean hands, and clean toilets. Our goal is to improve the health and development of children living in urban poverty by implementing integrated water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs in high-density, child-serving institutions, like schools and orphanages. This work supports the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 6 to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, and to reduce WASH inequalities between and within countries. 

    We target 100% of a child population—every orphanage in China and every public school in major cities like Kolkata, Addis Ababa, and Kathmandu—to demonstrate our WASH programs are adaptable, scalable, and sustainable. We work closely with local communities, encouraging governments and NGOs to replicate our model.  Splash turns philanthropy into a catalyst for long-term systemic change. The impact has been significant. Founded in 2007, Splash has already completed over 1,730 projects serving more than 428,000 kids in eight countries: China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. We are on track to help one million kids have clean water, hands, and toilets by 2023. Follow Splash at: FACEBOOK TWITTER INSTAGRAM You Tube

    Who is MiiR?

    MiiR is a drinkware company that designs modest products built on function and simplicity for daily use.  Every product is paired with a trackable give code that gives back 3% of revenue to clean water and health projects. MiiR exists to empower people with access to a better future

  • Be Brave and Bloom Your Worth

    “When we plant a rose seed in the Earth, we notice it is small, but we do not criticize it as rootless and stemless. We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the Earth we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped, nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand at wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change yet at each stage, at each moment it is whole as it is.”                        – W. Timothy Gallwey

    What does it mean to be mentally healthy? We know that it’s good to care for our physical health, but we hardly take notice to care for our mental well-being. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began to see how I wasn’t an exception either. Anger, shame, and doubt overwhelmed me with anxiety and panic attacks affected my day to day life. Tired of the drain, I began to ask why I felt like this as the stories forgotten began to unravel.

    In a time where computer and smartphones virtually connect us something is missing. This aspect of our modern society is the silence of a seemingly total connection. What I’m talking about here is loneliness. Loneliness is at an all-time high amongst post-millennials. It’s such a problem that in England, there’s even an appointed Minister of Loneliness. The real connection is something that is missing. We’re relational beings, we need to be understood, and we can’t do that for ourselves. Contact is a necessity for a human being to heal so we need to be with other people.

    Social media is one of the primary ways people of our generation are connecting. Know that you have the freedom to choose your life. One should enjoy what they create, share, or post despite it getting out to the public. What if you posted something and no one took note of it, or no one watched it? Yes, it would suck, but the question is how much? Could you step back and say, “That was a great post even though the world doesn’t get it.” There may be some sadness, and that is normal. What’s not is letting your happiness depend on it. The need for validation is like a reflex we have to learn to undo.

    All self-worth issues stem from one thought, “I am not enough.” I am not enough without the things that I do to justify my existence here on this planet. I am not enough is the reason that most people who are alive today are running this endless rat race for achievement, trying to become more than they already are. Even people who in the field of spiritual endeavors, yoga, etc., has a motive for why they do it and may find themselves for chasing enlightenment. The pursuit of self-actualization stems from the belief that we aren’t enough as we are. You can’t look to anyone else to create it for you; it’s something you develop. Some of us may have been luckier than others; many may have had parents that reflected true self-worth to us, but it’s always an individual process.

    So how can we go about discovering our self-worth which will move us into self-esteem and the vibration of self-love?

    Ask yourself, “How am I enough?” So often we focus on what we aren’t instead of what we are.  If you focus on the lack you get nothing more than lack, so you have to take your attention off of your deficiencies. You have to shift into thoughts of appreciation for yourself.

    These qualities cannot develop if you’re still devaluing your own life. If you’re filling your life up with alcohol, no sleep, bad diets or contributing physically to feeling bad about yourself and your life, then you can’t step into the vibration of self-love, which is where self-worth resides. See where you may be creating a contradiction to self-esteem and self-love and work to incrementally release those habits and patterns so that your life can become a real reflection of someone who might love themselves or someone that might have value in their own identity.

    See what you think about your worth, not what you’ve been taught to believe. All that a belief is a thought that’s been thought over again and again so much so that it takes no effort to think that thought. That thought becomes a neuropathway, and the neuropathway takes charge to bring that thought forth into reality. That is the realm of the subconscious. When you find these limiting beliefs, you have to figure out where they came from. Chase them back to their origin, the circumstance, or an adult in your life when you were a child. You’ve got to be able to leave that belief to whom it belongs too. It’s not your belief; it’s something you adopted. Once you leave it there, you have to replace it with new thoughts. Use your mind and send it on a scavenger hunt for what you’d like to believe better and look for proof of your worth. Create a situation where you tell your brain to look for the aspects it can appreciate, which add to the idea of self-worth and reinforce any belief that you are trying to replace. New neuropathways will begin to form to those new thoughts and pretty soon it will take no effort to think them. By choosing an original idea to feel, a better feeling thought, your overall vibration will change.

    Another technique you can use is meditating on core affirming thoughts. Pick something that is relative to you and repeat it as a mantra and you sink into the vibration of the words. Choose something relative to where you are. To go from “I hate myself” to the opposite ” I love myself” would be a personal assault on your intelligence because instead of making you feel good it’s pointing out to you all the places you don’t love yourself. So it’s imperative to choose an affirmation which you do line up with, meaning you do believe.

    You might instead think, “I value myself because I care.” That thought may feel good to think and something that all of you resonates. The more you keep choosing better feelings and thoughts, pretty soon down the line you can say, “I love myself,” and mean it. There won’t be any hesitation when you repeat that affirmation.

    Water molecules change based on what it’s around and we, being human, are 70+ percent H2O. Good practice for when you’re going to drink or eat something. For example with a glass of water, hold the glass and focus true appreciation to that water. Generate the emotion of love into that water. The longer, the better and yes drink that water! By making this a daily practice, you will be restructuring the water of your own body. Your internal water, which has been poisoned with thoughts of self-depreciation and criticism, diminish your sense of self-worth. This powerful practice as you may notice the considerable discordance of vibration from what you’ve been feeding to your body over years and years. After a few months of this, you may then be ready to take on core affirming thought without feeling guilty about saying them. This practice can be one of the most life changing things that you can interject into your day to day life.

    I desire that you talk your way into your own beliefs about worth. I desire that those beliefs are of a benefit to you and never a limit to you.

    Now I’m going to share with you about value concerning how the Universe sees it.

    Worth is inherent.

    You are an extension of Source

    You are born with worth and die with worth

    All anything in this life is, either an obscurer or an allower of that light which is inherently yours.

    Your worth is like a light. Anything you do in your life is nothing but a showcase of that light. If it’s a beneficial thing you are doing or some success which you have achieved, all that is, is like a stained glass, which is allowing that light to express itself in beautiful ways. And anything you’ve done, anybody you’ve hurt in this life, anything you don’t feel proud of is nothing but filament in front of that light. The light is always there. At your core, you are unique, eternal, infinite, precious, valuable and kind person. You are in other words, an endless sea of potential, which is entirely unchanging, you can’t add to it, and you cannot take away from it. You have as much worth and potential today as you did when you were born, and you will have as much worth and potential the day you die as when you were born. Your worth didn’t go anywhere, and you can’t get rid of or lose something that’s eternal. Talent is not worth. It’s not worth in and of itself. An ability is an expression of worth, which is inherent in all beings, no matter how small, no matter how large, no matter how much good or evil that they’ve done in their life. The reality is that worth is eternal. There is no way you can get rid of it. There is no way you can even add to it. You can either showcase it or hide it.

    Remember that you are lovely. You would be of infinite worth also if all you did for the rest of your life were to sit in a vegetable state. You do not need to justify your life. You don’t need to defend yourself to yourself or anyone. You are precisely enough as you are, at this very moment, and every moment.

    This subject is a relatively emotional one for me, I’m saying as how I’ve struggled with self-worth so much, and I understand what can come from really finding it. When you focus towards yourself and others with an attitude of searching what to appreciate, instead of what to condemn, you will come to know this worth that is inherently yours. You will come to know joy for the first time. And this is my desire for all of you. This is my desire for all people on this Earth.

    If you relate to this anyway I invite you to join me and my co-hosts for #ThisismybraveYogis, a FREE, 7-day exciting yoga challenge.

    This Is My Brave is a is a mental health non-profit organization. Their mission is to end the stigma of mental health issues. They share personal stories of individuals living successful, full lives despite mental illness. (more info here)

    We will explore a variety of topics through postures and open the dialogue to finding our purpose in stressful situations. Be supported in a community with other like-minded individuals. Share it with friends and family, so we can all join together in support of connection, openness, and understanding.

    Sign up now and join the challenge today!

    By Danielle Hicks

    Find Danielle on Instagram @el.feather.yoga, Facebook, or online.

    Join The Challenge Now

     

  • Providing Clean Water To Children Around The World

    You may have noticed that so far, throughout 2018, OMstars has been supporting several causes that we believe will help make our world a better place. When Kino first dreamed OMstars up, she wanted it to be so much more than just an online yoga channel with videos we could all enjoy. Kino’s vision for OMStars was to create a platform that would give students the opportunity to practice yoga and do more good for the world. That’s why each of the challenges we host are associated with carefully chosen causes that are all focused on making the world a better place. We recently partnered with MiiR in an effort to support an organization called Splash and their mission to bring clean water to children around the world. Get to know a little more about these two organizations, their relationship, and how they work to make a difference in the world every day.

    MiiR was founded in 2010 with the idea that philanthropy could be integrated into the daily course of business, a concept novel for its time. Founder and CEO Bryan Papé sought to innovate a drinkware line that would contribute to solving the clean water crisis in addition to providing a sustainable alternative to bottled water consumption.

    Today, MiiR gives 3% of revenue to established, best in class nonprofits with an aim to empower people with access to a better future. Our partner organizations create sustainable giving projects in the clean water, health and food sectors that address both domestic and international issues. In total we have granted close to $650,000 and empowered the lives of 100,000+ people worldwide, and invite our customers to follow along in our journey of generosity by registering the Give Code™ associated with their MiiR product.

    MiiR and Splash first partnered in November 2016 with a $40,000 grant to benefit 1,200 students (and thousands more in future years) across nine schools in Kathmandu, Nepal. Splash achieved full WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) intervention at all nine schools with water filtration systems and increased water access points, sanitation improvements and hygiene education for lasting behavioral change. So quickly and efficiently was Splash able to accomplish this work that we issued a second grant for $15,000 in February 2017 to benefit another 350 students in four schools.

    MiiR’s clean water footprint with Splash has since expanded beyond Nepal to Ethiopia, China and India. After a year and a half of working together, we consider Splash to be one of our core partners, sharing in a symbiotic relationship with deep organizational alignment around integrity, transparency and innovation. In an ongoing collaborative capacity, both companies do what we do best, spanning the for-profit and non-profit sectors, to achieve a greater social and environmental impact.

    Splash is in the “business” of clean water, clean hands and clean toilets for kids living in urban poverty. With a greater than 99% success rate and a commitment to transparency by making their project results available to the public, Splash’s story is one MiiR easily and readily shares, and with good reason. Today, Splash serves those most vulnerable to death by water-borne illness to the tune of more than 400,000 children in eight countries, and is on track to reach one million by 2023!

    Splash doesn’t shy away from setting lofty goals, one of them being to reach every public school in Kolkata, India with the trifecta of clean water, clean hands and clean toilets. With the urban density of the city having exceeded more than three times that of New York City, this is by no means easy work. Yet progress is being made, with Splash serving 40,113 children in India daily.  

    MiiR and Splash were so excited to be part of the OMstars Challenge and to partner with Kino.  It will take all of us working together to move the needle on clean water.

    Share by our friends at MiiR

    Photo Credit @GavinGough

    Explore Products from MiiR

    Learn More About Splash

     

  • Make A Donation & Download Your Free Class

     Together we rise Ashtanga Yoga Dispatch

     Because ONE doesn’t mean the same. Uniformity is not COMMUNITY. And LOVE does not come with rules and borders.

    Oh, the irony! 
     
    Last Monday, I wrote about the dangers of tribalism. And now, this week the moon has been full and I’m back with an opposite message – of the powerful difference a tribe can make when we unite, for good.
     
    You see, it all started last week when I woke up to yet more distressing images of frightened children, being torn from their parents at our border. Thousands of them. My heart hurt. 
     
    But by the next morning, my despair was replaced with an idea. What if I put together … 
     
    Well, within 24 hours of putting out an all-call to the community, I had more teachers volunteering to participate than there are poses in primary series! And by Saturday, I had the voices of 39 different teachers, from around the world, each leading their own small part. Only when put together, the result is anything but small! In fact, this class is a beautiful example of a tribe coming together in a powerful way – uniting our voices and practice – to create the good that we crave.
     
    Of course, I knew there would be variances. And not just in voice, but in style and pace. I even knew that, based on when they learned the series and from who they learned it from – there would be other noticeable differences. To which, I thought – Good!
     
    Because ONE doesn’t mean the same.
    Uniformity is not COMMUNITY.
    And LOVE does not come with rules and borders.
     
    Quite frankly, you and I don’t practice yoga to build walls. Just the opposite. And yet, division – even within our own yoga community – runs deep. But not this time. Not in this class. And not for this cause. Because the bigger irony turns out to be this: In reaching out to help heal others, it becomes US we end up helping to heal.
     
    And so I hope you will join the 39 teachers and me – along with students around the world – as we rise together, in practice. In healing. And in love.
     
     
    Thank you for caring and for your generosity. And thank you to the teachers below, for being our guiding, shining light.
     
    For the children.
    P.S. You can also help by sharing this message on Facebook and Instagram, or forwarding to friends. Thank you again

    By Peg Mulqueen

    Peg Mulqueen is the founder of Ashtanga Dispatch, a global and inclusive community, bringing together teachers and students devoted to the eight-limbed practice of yoga.
    Peg Mulqueen from Ashtanga Yoga Dispatch
    FUNDAMENTAL POSTURES:
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