EDINBURG, Texas - It all starts with a yoga session, followed by a short meal, and meditation session to close out the night. That is a typical Wednesday evening at Infinite Love, located near the intersection of McColl and Trenton in Edinburg.
Every week, you'll see new and familiar faces. Sometimes, the place will be near capacity. Other times, you'll only see a dozen people in the building. The one thing that doesn't change, is the mission of the organization and it's four founders, which is to serve others by offering emotional, spiritual, and resource based help.
One of the founders, Pooja Chugani, says she and her sisters had to go through tough times themselves, before helping others.
“All of my sisters and I went through certain difficulties in the year 2006. It was really really difficult. Very hard problems and it made us go look for something to help us with our troubles. How to get us out of this hole we were in," said Chugani.
Getting out of that hole was nothing easy for Chugani and her three sisters, but once they came across meditation, their lives began to change.
“We found meditation, and found positive speakers and we listened to them. Slowly, but surely, we came out of it. We felt much better. We understood life," said Chugani.
Fast forward a few years, and their entire family gets hit with another tough situation.
“Our cousin Vishal, had suffered from cancer for a long time. Since he was eighteen. In the year 2011, he passed away at the age of 30, on Valentines day," said Chugani.
For the longest time, their cousin, Vishal Buxani, was helping a lot people with any troubles they had without telling any of his family members. His good deeds were unheard of by many, until the day of his funeral.
“When we were at his funeral, everybody came to us and told us that he was such a wonderful person. He helped them without telling anyone. We had no idea that he was like that. He kept it very quiet. He was a lot of love, and look at the coincidence that he passed away on the day of love. On valentines day," said Chugani.
One of the other founders, Alka Vaswani, says their cousin Vishal taught them so many things that they carry with them each day of their lives.
"He was our Angel. He came to really teach us so much about life. We have to be happy and live every moment to the fullest, and that’s something that I learned from him, said Vaswani.
Vishal's cousins wanted to keep his legacy alive and continue helping people like he did. A year after his death, Infinite Love was born in McAllen, and since then, they've had to relocate to accommodate the increasing number of people that benefit from their services.
They now have a space in Edinburg, where they can easily fit dozens of people.
Some of the people that go there regularly, like Shawn Elliot Russell, say the organization lives up to its name.
"So the name is infinite love, and they embody that. I’ve ever met an actual group of people that have been consistent in showing just love and kindness and being interested in giving back. Their entire effort is directed outward towards others," said Elliot.
The yoga instructor for Infinite Love, Jackelin Treviño, says there is no other place like Infinite Love.
"Infinite love is a space where I come to be with community. Often, the same loving people are here. I’m always greeted with a lot of warmth and a lot of love. It’s a place where I can come and be with my spiritual practice, and prioritize my spiritual growth, surrounded by other people that are doing the same thing," said Treviño.
For more than five years the four founders of Infinite Love have helped people going through difficult times find some sort of peace through the services they offer.
The organization offers yoga sessions, delivers meals to the less fortunate and cancer patients at a local hospital, and provides group meditation for those looking to get a quick break from stress.
“I think it’s beautiful when everybody is here sharing their energy. When we mediate in a group it feels so different. It’s much more powerful. If you had a bad day it relaxes you,” said Vaswani.
Elliot adds that he immediately knew he wanted to be part of Infinite Love the moment he saw what it offered.
“I first heard about infinite love about three years ago. At the time I was searching for something. I just felt the love, and I felt the peace, and I felt the type of place infinite love was and what it stands for, and that’s just something I wanted to be part of," said Elliot.
All of Infinte Love’s founders offer their help and services without asking for anything in return.
“Everyone goes through hardships, but when you are giving and making a difference in someone’s life, you’re also making a difference in your life,” said Vaswani.
Chugani says people sometimes don't believe that she and her sisters are willing to help other without expecting anything back.
“I don’t know how to explain the feeling you get from giving, and when you see the other person receiving, and the happiness that you see in their faces, and they’re wondering… what do you want?... and you tell them, nothing. They’re in shock. This is the true way to be. This is what we feel that everyone needs to do, and just love and give love, and not expect anything in return. That’s what we’re trying to teach," said Chugani.
The founders of Infinite Love say they will never turn anyone away, and encourage more people to check out what they offer.
They add, that if they need to find a bigger location, then they will do so.