The Essence of Kula Kamala Foundation and Yoga Ashram: Caring for the Human Spirit with Healing Grace
Aug 27, 2017 06:39PM
● By Gisele Rinaldi Siebold
A feeling of uplifting joy comes from visiting the Kula Kamala ashram, located in Alsace, Berks County, on six acres surrounded by forests and fields. Joy abounds because the intention of love fills every yoga experience, act of service, workshop, class, holistic healing experience and meal offered, uplifting visitors and participants with heart-centered caring.
The Kula Kamala Foundation blossomed from the healing vision and dedication of Sudha & Ed Allitt, in 2007, as a non-profit educational and philanthropic movement dedicated to non-violence and to the healing of all beings everywhere. Created with the intention to reduce suffering, enhance happiness and improve overall health and well-being, Sudha and Ed, joined by a dedicated team, generate ideas and work together to effectively organize the offering of therapeutic yoga education, programs, trainings and services for individuals and groups. Professionals, as well as the general public, are served by the variety of healing experiences and educational classes.
The vision is to provide access to the practice of yoga, and its other aspects, for the purpose of bringing wellness to individuals and communities, enhancing life experiences. “The foundation is dedicated to walking the path of progressive nonsectarian spirituality, and to enhancing human holism, and is organized specifically and exclusively for charitable, scientific and educational purposes,” explains Sudha.
Professional yoga training programs are led by in-house faculty, as well as local, regional and international visiting teachers. Courses of study include a 200-hour Professional Yoga Teacher Training, a 300-hour Level 1 Yoga Therapy Training and an 870-hour Professional Yoga Therapist Certification program, accredited through the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). One of the first 20 schools of Yoga Therapy worldwide to have their program accredited by IAYT, Kula Kamala’s programs are highly regarded, well-attended and far-reaching.
Holistic healing modalities include spiritual counseling, Ayurveda health coaching, professional yoga therapy and massage therapy, including Swedish therapeutic, Thai yoga and deep relaxation.
Kula-kamala-yoga, a traditionally inspired method of yoga with modern elements, is healing oriented and centered in awakening Anahata (the heart) chakra. With a strong focus on alignment of body, mind and spirit, it is appropriate for all levels of experience, brought with gratitude and love for the community.
A diverse weekly schedule includes 19 classes and experiences; some are donation-based, while others require tuition. Programs, integrated with a wide-range of approaches, include gentle yoga, yoga for teens, qigong, reiki circles, yoga in nature, meditation, healing arts, crystal bowls, Kirtan and Satsang (devotional chanting), tai chi and adaptive yoga.
The Food4AllCafe.teria, located within the ashram, is a unique part of the vision and mission. It is open to the community for meals on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Fridays, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Donations to the Food4AllCafe.teria provide for the programs offered. Food is also served as a compliment to classes. “It is a lovely, nourishing experience on so many levels to follow a yoga class with a delicious, organic, plant-based meal,” enthuses Gwendolyn Williams, executive assistant to Sudha.
Fruits and vegetables are grown on-site using the environmentally friendly outdoor mound cropping method known as Hugelkultur, with indoor growing methods also being developed. On-site gardens, along with generous monetary donations from like-minded people and organizations, help to sustain all the ashram’s offerings throughout the year.
“Yoga is unity, healing, living fully and healthfully,” shares Sudha. “Our approach marries traditional and contemporary mindfulness techniques with current medical research to provide the broadest possible understanding of what the practices of yoga can provide to the individual person and to the community as a whole.”
Of special importance is providing holistic ministries for special, medical and care communities who encounter stress on a regular basis, and who may not have access to uplifting, healing experiences. Yoga instructors are educated and empowered to conduct or participate in yogic service programs; holistic ministries are offered for public, health care, mental health, women’s shelter, homeless shelter, crisis prevention, law enforcement, military, correction and rehabilitation and special needs communities.
“Yoga teaches us that true happiness emerges as unity, faith, love and compassion deepen,” explains Sudha. “Whatever you have faith in, yoga can deepen that faith as the wonders of awakening consciousness opens your heart to the greater inclusion and completeness of the Universe.”
The essence of healing grace is the heart of Kula Kamala Foundation and Yoga Ashram.