About Off The Mat and the Global Challenge Project

Information courtesy of Off the Mat, Into the World®

About Off The Mat, Into the World®Off the Mat Into the World® (OTM), a program of the non-profit The Engage Network, is a dedicated to bridging yoga and activism. Founded in 2007, OTM’s mission
is to use the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and to ignite grassroots social change. OTM supports conscious activism by facilitating
personal empowerment through leadership trainings, fostering community collaboration, and initiating local and global service projects. We see yogis everywhere
taking their yoga “off the mat” to create real change in the world. 

GLOBAL SEVA CHALLENGE 2010 is focused on supporting humanitarian efforts in South Africa. The Bare Witness Humanitarian Tour will begin with a deep exploration
of some of the root causes of the HIV/AIDS proliferation in South Africa including apartheid and its subsequent economic consequences...exploring the Cape Town Flats where 2.5 million people live (a result of the Group Areas Act of 1950), listening to deeply personal stories, being hosted by local families, we will have an opportunity to see the problems first hand and explore relevant questions such as; how has over 46 years of apartheid effected the SA economy and created the kind of poverty that exists there? How, in turn, has that poverty been a part of creating the proliferation of HIV/AIDS in SA? In what way is this tremendous pandemic affecting generations and most particularly the lives of children and young adults in SA?

A Yogic Approach to ChangeThis is not a singular issue and requires and multi-dimensional response. As yogis, we believe in whole wellness of the body, mind and soul. Our approach in SA reflects this philosophy. We are working with unique local organizations who are going beyond the issue to address the broader impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and developing creative solutions to bring about whole and long lasting change.