Yoga Against Human Trafficking


(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) - On Friday, March 11, at 6 p.m., volunteers at Sruti Berkshire Yoga Center at 33 Railroad Street in Great Barrington will take part in “Yoga Stops Traffick,” a global yoga event being held in 80 locations around the world to raise awareness about human trafficking and show support to its millions of victims. Participants at Sruti will perform a prescribed number of Sun Salutations, a basic yoga posture sequence, to raise money for the Odanadi Seva Trust, a pioneering anti-trafficking organization based in Mysore, South India – the home of ashtanga yoga -- working for the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficked women and children.

Sruti teachers Amy Webb and Tom Rosenthal will be on hand to instruct beginners in the sun salutation sequence, which will be performed in multiples of 13, 27, or 54, standing in concert with others around the world also doing these postures in groupings divisible by 108.
Immediately following the sun salutation marathon at 7:30, Tom Rosenthal, a frequent visitor and sometime resident of Mysore, will present a slide show and talk about Odandi and ashtanga yoga. In addition, Rosenthal’s photographs from India will be on display at Sruti. All participants and attendees are asked for a $20 minimum donation; all proceeds go to Odanadi. For more information visit or call .
Last year’s founding event was led by a group of young Odanadi residents from the entrance gates of the iconic Mysore Palace – many of whom are survivors of slavery, domestic abuse and forced prostitution. Through the common language of yoga, 1,500 people around the world rolled out their mats in homes, beaches and mountaintops on the same day, in support of Odanadi’s work. And so from the home of ashtanga yoga, a worldwide event was born.
Ashtanga yoga is of huge significance to the young people of Odanadi. As part of their groundbreaking rehabilitation program, it has allowed them to reclaim their bodies: build physical and mental strength, and restore a sense of peace, confidence and self-worth.
Odanadi co-founders Stanly K.V. and Parashuram M.L. say that, “when human relationships begin, cooperation and coordination begins”. Stanly says, “Yoga Stops Traffick is paving the way for the creation of new relationships across the globe. By promoting our mission at an international level we will be able to do more than we ever thought possible."
Parashuram adds: "We may not share the same culture, language or grass roots problems, but Yoga Stops Traffick shows that human suffering transcends these differences. Humanity is our common ground and the more people learn about our work, the more things will change."
• Odanadi Seva Trust is a pioneering anti-trafficking organization based in Mysore, South India, working for the rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficked women and children.
• This unique organization was founded by former journalists Stanly K.V. and Parashuram M.L. almost 20 years ago, after a chance encounter with a street prostitute, Radhamma, who inspired them to give women like her the opportunity for a better life.
• Today Odanadi runs two residential rehabilitation centres in Mysore, housing up to 85 women and young people at any one time.
• Many Odanadi residents have been rescued from the hands of brothel owners and sex traffickers, others from abusive homes, child marriages or domestic and commercial servitude.
• Over the past 20 years Odanadi has rescued and rehabilitated more than 2,000 children, carried out 60 brothel raids and brought 137 traffickers to justice.
• Odanadi’s unique psycho-social therapy programme has become accepted as best practice both within India and internationally. The Union Human Resource Development Ministry has adopted the Odanadi model, and many other Indian state governments have sent rescued girls to Odanadi to facilitate their rehabilitation.
• Odanadi residents are provided with a wide range of therapeutic activities, from psychological counseling to art therapy, drama, karate to yoga and acupuncture.
• Three million children are currently involved in India’s sex trade.
• Human trafficking, as an organized crime, is approximated to generate 32 billion revenue each year.
• Every day in India 200 women and girls enter prostitution and 80% of them do so against their will as victims of trafficking.
• The 2007 U.S. Trafficking in Persons Report states that India’s ‘trafficking in persons’ problem is estimated to be in the millions (90% of which is internal).
• The 2004 report by Shakti Vahini confirms that Karnataka, where Odanadi is located, is one of the major trafficking-supply states.
For more information on Odanadi, please visit


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