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Something Inspiring: Living Yoga

{Something Inspiring is a weekly essay that highlights an article, photo, or campaign that inspired me. Enjoy!}

I’ve been volunteering in the Living Yoga office since I moved to Portland in early 2010. If you watched the video above you’ll understand why I love this organization so much. Friday night is the Living Yoga annual gala, their biggest fundraiser of the year, and I’ll be there taking photos of the event! I love volunteering because it makes me happy and research backs up this assertion.

Stephen Post is the director of The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, a group that focuses on the scientific study of service, compassion and altruism. In a recent report called, Good to be Good, he examined more than 30 different studies, which focused on the health benefits of volunteering and observed that, “a loving and helpful life is more likely to be a happier, healthier, longer one.”

The meta-analysis showed that people who volunteer regularly experience lower levels of stress, aren’t as likely to be depressed and have a lower mortality rate. A few studies in Good to be Good indicated that the people who exhibit these health benefits volunteer about 2 hours a week; that’s only 100 hours a year!

In addition, research strongly suggests that one way to increase your happiness level is by giving money to charity. It’s what scholars call “pro-social spending.” If you don’t have the time to do hands-on volunteer work, giving money is a strategy that can boost your happiness level.

Give to Living Yoga today.


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  • Sunday October 20, 2011, 7:37 am

    Woo hoo! That’s right!! I started volunteering time at the Humane Society and now I can’t imagine ever not volunteering there. Seriously, how did I go so long in my life not walking dogs for three hours a week? It’s been such an emotional balm as well as making me feel better physically because it forces me to exercise 🙂 I wish I had even more time to give and someday I will; can’t wait!

    • Tammy Strobel October 20, 2011, 7:45 am

      @Sunday – Awesome! That sounds so fun!

  • Kourtney L. October 20, 2011, 7:47 am

    This is such a great idea. I had never heard about this organization until your post, I think it’s awesome. I wish they had this in Salem. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jennie October 20, 2011, 11:19 am

    Very nice post! Thanks for sharing that story. It really resonates with me for three reasons: I love yoga, I’ve been looking into volunteering lately, and my mother was in prison.

  • Tetsugan October 20, 2011, 11:37 am

    Wow, what a powerful video… and yes, definitely inspiring. I got all choked up watching it! Thanks for sharing this with us, Tammy.

  • Caroline McGraw / A Wish Come Clear October 20, 2011, 1:37 pm

    I second that! This is an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it, Tammy. I can see why you’re so passionate about volunteering with Living Yoga. I also appreciate the reminder to give back & make time for serving my community.

  • Sherri Dunham | The Budding Lotus October 20, 2011, 3:04 pm

    I knew volunteering was good for cultivating those “warm fuzzies” but it’s great that there has been research and meta analysis done to show just how impactful it really is. I’m going to look into some of those studies. Thank you for that information. I would love to someday become a yoga teacher and provide it to the underprivileged and also use it in conjunction with therapy. Thanks for a great post.

  • Beth October 21, 2011, 5:40 pm

    Very powerful

  • Tess The Bold Life October 22, 2011, 2:14 pm

    This is so beautiful. I’m so inspired by you to keep giving and doing for others. Thank you and Stephanie, you’re beautiful inside and out! xo

  • Sherry October 24, 2011, 3:45 am

    That video touched me deeply. Crystal is a lovely young woman inside and out and her story is one of redemption and healing. It was very inspiring.

  • Jan Pagel November 13, 2011, 6:07 pm

    That was really beautiful. Thank you for sharing…

    Jan in Seattle

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