Yogis have long been aware of the practice's benefits to their physical, mental and spiritual health. But, yoga's ability to heal goes beyond the personal level, as evidenced by the Ananda Marga Yoga Society. Their aim is to help both individuals and society develop in all spheres of existence. The Society, founded by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti in 1955, provides instruction in meditation, yoga and other self-development practices on a non-commercial basis throughout the world and responds with aid to social emergencies and long-term social needs. Ananda Marga runs the Asheville Quest Center, where Didi A'nanda U's'a' is director. She helps spread the mission of Ananda Marga to our area and carries out that mission in her own life.
When was the Asheville Quest Center created, and what does the Center offer our community and others nearby?
The Asheville Quest Center was established in 2001. We have two yoga classes a week, on Monday and Tuesday. The center offers a spiritual atmosphere, and our classes are spiritually oriented. We have a monthly women's satsaunga the last Friday of the month, which is a time for women, of any belief system, to come together and share silent meditation and stories. We also do regular group meditations and sing kiirtan, a devotional practice of "singing the names" of the divine being.
One of the major efforts we've undertaken is to collect funds for global relief work such as the tsunami in Asia and Hurricane Katrina. We were able to raise thousands of dollars in Asheville, which was utilized by Ananda Marga's global disaster response organizations AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) and AMURTEL These organizations are managed by volunteers, so more than 90 percent of the money we collect goes directly to those who need it. locally, we've supported women's homeless shelters, and we volunteer at the food bank and nursing homes.
Ananda Marga also has a center in Marshall, NC, Ananda Girisuta Master Unit, where we conduct retreats and seminars and develop other service programs.
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