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Seva is Selfless Service
Seva is Selfless Service

The Yogamour Story

By Tim Brady

The story begins one quiet evening in the spring of 2011 in Frederick, Maryland, as two community yoga teachers, Geni Donnelly and Rebeccah Bartlett, were surfing the internet in search of an inspiring yoga retreat. The prior summer, Rebeccah had spent time volunteering in India at the Vihaan School, a "slum school" in Jaipur, India. The spirit and vibration of volunteerism reverberated deeply, and the pair searched for a venue that honored being in service.

The ideal was a retreat that infused a learning experience in the discipline of yoga meshed with the component of seva, the Sanskrit term for selfless service. Not being able to locate a retreat that met these needs, creative ideas sparked and the concept of Yogamour began to take form.

As the love of yoga may have it, the stars aligned for these two friends to host their first Yogamour Yoga Volunteer Retreat to India in January 2012. The experience was nourishing, especially in finding that others likewise resonated with being in service. The two yoginis, now business partners, had found a calling.

Meaningful connections and friendships allowed for Yogamour Retreats to expand the practice of seva to Southern India and Thailand in the years that followed. Since the first retreat, Yogamour has led yoga voluntourism to Asia every year bringing volunteers with a sense of compassion and the longing to bring their special skills to new and mystical lands around the globe. The communities that Yogamour serves continue to be the recipients of a tribe of volunteers who have chosen to take their practice of yoga off of the mat and into the world in the form of selfless service.

After one of the Yogamour retreats, Rebeccah remained in Thailand and now lives in the land of smiles and golden temples with her husband and young son. She continues to lead retreats in Asia and maintains vision and dental clinics set up by Yogamour volunteers. Beccah teaches public yoga classes and sensitive and trauma informed yoga to survivors of human trafficking and under-served populations in Chain Mai.

Geni, still in Frederick, Maryland, offers donation-based yoga classes to the community, and provides therapeutic yoga and mindfulness classes to survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, and in-need populations.

Yogamour became a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 2012. The mission remains to inspire members and volunteers to take their yoga practice off the mat and into the real world in the form of seva. Now split into Yogamour Global and Yogamour U.S., Beccah and Geni continue their dedication to being in service and fostering health and wellness initiatives through global and local outreach.

How Yogamour Serves

Yogamour USA

Originally founded in Frederick, Maryland, Yogamour USA is the continuation of serving primarily state-side communities. The proceeds from programs and fundraising go toward community projects and therapeutic yoga class offerings. A sampling of programs includes:

Daily Donation Yoga Classes - Donation-based yoga classes with hosting studios and other venues in Frederick, Maryland are a core program with daily classes. Classes are taught by certified, experienced, and compassionate yoga teachers...

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