Wellington yogi begins 'selfless service' journey in India
Wellington yogi Lizzie Dixon is about to take the trip of a lifetime, but it's not for her.
Dixon is one of six women, and the only New Zealander, going to India next month as part of the Rise As One project.
Rise As One is a global yoga community that connects people to projects, enabling yogis to reach the next level of practice: to be of service to others.
Dixon, who has been practising yoga for almost a decade, says the trip is based on the idea of 'seva', meaning selfless service.
They will spend time in the slums of Nagpur, and have partnered with the Bodhicitta Foundation to provide education and job skills and to establish a home for vulnerable girls and women to help them escape child marriage, poverty and to become change-makers in their communities.
Each yogi will be connected with a leader in the community who they will mentor.
Dixon believes the groups experience with yoga, which she began as a way to heal after the death of her mother when she was 16, will help them to help others.
"Yoga is this beautiful process and organic process of chipping away the layers so we can better ourselves … in that, the better we get at connecting ourselves, the better we get at connecting with others.
"You plug in at a really deep, heartfelt level."
Dixon says the trip is the first step in what she considers a "calling". After India, she wants to create a programme that takes people to Nepal in service roles.
She says for the most part we in New Zealand are very lucky.
"We have all the things that we need to thrive and do whatever it is we want to do in the world ...
"We don't make the most of what we have, and when I see people that literally don't have what we have it's like, if we can then we should."
Helping those in need helps us realise this privilege, she says.
"If you go overseas and you role up your sleeves and do some work, I feel like when you come back you're never going to be the same again. How different would our individual communities look if more people lived from a place or privilege and gratitude?"
* More information about Dixon and the Rise as One project can be found on chuffed.org.