Kavita Maharaj is inspiring people to make the world a kinder place.
Maharaj is the owner of Red Door Yoga in Nanaimo's north end and the company has recently installed a drive-up booth in front of the studio that dispenses "Karma Cards" that encourage people to do random acts of kindness.
They include inviting a single friend over for dinner, check up on someone who may be lonely and send a letter to a former teacher who made a positive influence in a person's life.
Maharaj said the revered Indian spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi once said "be the change you wish to see in the world" and she and her staff have taken the advice to heart and are sharing it with others through the new initiative.
She said the booth has become quite popular since it was installed in July, with people from Nanaimo and beyond coming by on a regular basis to collect cards suggesting acts of kindness and returning them to the booth once they have completed the request.
"My father, who was a yogi, advised me when I started this business almost 10 years ago to always remember why you do what you do," she said Wednesday at her studio at 7282 Aulds Road.
"My purpose when I started Red Door Yoga was to help people live more conscientiously as individuals so that they can be instrumental in making positive changes in their communities, and the Karma Cards are part of that philosophy."
In keeping with her unique approach to helping improve people's lives and the societies they live in, the business erected a large chalkboard outside its location last year encouraging passersby to complete a simple sentence: "Before I die, I want to. . ." The chalkboard was a continuation of a global movement initiated by American artist Candy Chang in New Orleans in 2012 and was the second of its kind to be erected in Canada.
Maharaj is encouraging people to talk about their experiences carrying out the suggestions from the Karma Cards at www.facebook.com/RedDoorYoga.
"One group that works with disabled people in the community have developed their own cards with acts that are doable by their clients," she said.
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