Where wellness meets philanthropy: Three events to know about

A few upcoming health events focus on meditation and wellness, as well as helping others. Here are a few to consider: 

Yoga has its own award. The Namaste Award is the centerpoint of the annual Thank You Mother India event organized by the Yoga Gives Back foundation. Oscar-nominated director David Lynch, a longtime proponent of transcendental meditation, will receive the award at the Sept. 25 dinner at a private estate in Malibu. Several rock stars of the yoga world -- Shiva Rea, Tara Guber, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa -- will also be in attendance. Yoga Gives Back founder Kayoko Mitsumatsu was struck by the fact that the cost of an average yoga class in Los Angeles amounts to 10 days' salary in much of India, yoga's birthplace, so the proceeds from the night will go toward micro-loans for rural women there. "Many yogis feel the desire and urge to give back to India," she said. Tickets include a cocktail reception featuring Bollywood dancers, a South Indian vegetarian dinner and a gift bag with items such as teas from Organic India and Yogi Tea, a week's pass to Yoga Works, g-lixir granola bars and ghee from 4th & Heart. $250,

Eckhart Tolle -- who rocketed to international fame after being featured by Oprah some years ago —  does only one retreat a year in North America these days. The spiritual healer and mega-selling author is making a rare return to Southern California with a four-day event, “Living a Life of Presence,” in Huntington Beach. Speakers will include spiritual teachers Marianne Williamson and Jack Kornfield. Topics to be addressed: how to be more present and emotionally available with family and at work. There will also be sessions on wellness and diet, guided meditations and light movement practices. The retreat serves as the launch of the new Eckhart Tolle Foundation, which aims to take spiritual awareness into places it's needed the most, such as prisons and to underserved populations around the world. $1,297. Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at the Hyatt Regency, Huntington Beach Resort and Spa.

Energy healing, acupuncture and massage might not be considered the most conventional therapies for veterans suffering from PTSD, but a group called Heaven and Earth Oasis is hoping to change that. The organization runs three Los Angeles-area centers that provide free holistic healing modalities to former and active members of the military. A yearly lunch raises the money to do so, said organization President Valerie Heath. "The idea of using these approaches to treat PTSD is getting more mainstream, and we can make sure they are available to veterans every day." The services of holistic healers will also be offered at the Nov. 5 lunch at Loews Hollywood Hotel. $175-$200.


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