Taking Back Technology

Earlier this year, I posted about technology & peace in relation to yoga after taking a class on the same topic. Don’t hold your breath, I’m still not a gadget girl.

Over time, though, I learned about several grant opportunities for innovative technological solutions to social concerns in the world. Yesterday, I attended the Center for Science, Technology and Society’s Global Social Benefit Incubator presentations at Santa Clara University in California and was inspired again to find or create a technology to help others with. I searched my skills set for unique technologies that I could offer. Only one came to mind: yoga.

What is technology, anyway? For you and me, it’s about the internet, mobile phones, and lots of gadgets and gimmicks, many which are unaffordable (but somehow still make it into the market). It’s about finding solutions to social and environmental concerns. It’s using Promethean Power Systems’ solar-powered refrigeration bins to store milk and transforming pine needles into energy like Avani.

In a village with no running water or electricity, technology is about taking what little you have, and making it into something great. It’s innovating something that can transform lives.

Decades ago, this is exactly what the father of modern-day yoga did. BKS Iyengar had some health concerns and limitations. He started learning and practicing yoga from his brother-in-law, Krishnamacharya. Iyengar took it one step further: he used house-hold goods to aid his practice. Books, towels, and chairs served as props for the master.

B.K.S. Iyengar

Image via Wikipedia

Today those props have transformed into blocks, mats, straps, sandbags, and many other yoga props that can help deepen your yoga practice.

My technological idea is simple: help women empower themselves and transform their own lives. Teach them how to make sandbags, eye pillows, straps, and yoga bags, and they go from victims of domestic violence to entrepreneurs in one of the hottest markets of the world today. And then teach them to use the very same tools they now sell: give them yoga lessons, and let them find peace within.

My research is about showing how yoga is beneficial to survivors of domestic violence. From my own experience, I believe it helps them regain confidence, compassion, strength, truth, non-violence and forgiveness for themselves and for others, especially former and current abusers. These qualities, which are often learned and secured through interactions with nature, can also be found within through concentration during the practice of yoga (in philosophies, poses, and meditations).

It might not be a lot to you and me. But to a woman in need, it means transformation on the spiritual level as well as the financial. It’s a growth in biophilia; it’s an opportunity for an income, and to achieve self-sufficiency and financial security; it’s a chance to obtain peace through simple technologies.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Taking Back Technology « Yoga in Peace | austriatoday

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Word of the Week

Namaste. This section will begin to explore sanskrit terminology associated with yoga. First word: Namaste. This is a salutation, "I salute the light within you that is within me also."
For more information, see: http://www.udaipurtimes.com/namaste-feeling-and-expression-in-ones-heart/ http://www.yogajournal.com/basics/822

News on Domestic Violence

Since I've been blogging about yoga and domestic violence, I thought I would share Dr. Phil's stories as well. The television icon is asking people to break the silence! http://blog.drphil.com/2010/09/09/our-ninth-season/
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