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I had the very good fortune to attend the Yoga Journal Conference in Boston this past weekend. What an incredible time! Most of my time was spent at the yogaHOPE table in the Marketplace, promoting the organization, selling ridiculously cute t-shirts and raffle tickets for a killer raffle coming up in May. I got to meet a lot of really awesome people, including the great women of meSheeky, the be present crew, the beautiful designers of Baroni jewelry and of course the lululemon ladies and their goal setting mini-workshops. (That’ll be an upcoming blog post for sure!)
As a vendor, we could get in to any of the unsold out classes, so I also got the chance to take two classes with some really incredible yogis. On Saturday I went to a discussion/lecture led by Coral Brown on coping with the post-savasana melt down. The discussion ranged far and wide and I got to listen to a lot of different perspectives on helping students who have emotion break throughs in class and also dealing with “problem” students (disruptive, no boundaries, coming to class on drugs or drunk). Luckily the latter hasn’t been an issue for me, but I have encountered some very disruptive personalities. Reminding myself to operate with compassion, that the behavior is not a reflection of me, but a manifestation of fear in the student keeps me from getting too grumpy when someone comes in 20 minutes late and proceeds to do their own practice in the center of the room.
Coral is an incredible woman and I wish she taught near her because I’d love to take her class. Just sitting in the front of the classroom she exuded an aura of love and fun.
Sunday morning a friend and I went to Sadie Nardini‘s Core Flow class. I’ve been a Nardini Fan Girl for a while now and love her many editorials for the Huffington Post. This class rocked! It was a blend of lecture and asana and DAMN the asana was tough! We spent the first part of the class locating the belly of the psoas muscle, which sits higher up in the abdominal area than you’d think. From there we flowed through some sun salutations using the core as the stability. It’s all stuff we’ve heard before, but Sadie had a new way of approaching the cues, muscle engagement and flow that made it all click.
Using the core as physical and psychological center, she even got us all to attempt flying from a three-legged core plank into crow! The crazier part? I almost did it! Yahoo!
Oh, and did I mention how unbelievably beautiful Sadie is? Yeah. Stunning.
It was a great weekend and I am already looking forward to YJ coming back in a couple years. I think the next time they’re back I’d like to fork out the (BIG) bucks and actually commit to taking a day’s worth of classes or a day-long intensive. I’m glad I got the chance to dip my toe into the experience this time around, and I loved working the yH table and connecting with so many great people who were genuinely interested in yogaHOPE.
Thank you to everyone who came by and supported! See you at the next big event: Saluting the Spirit!
yogaHOPE Sue shared an email from Steven Gross who’s in Haiti right now with Maggie Julianno. They are getting the lay of the land, so to speak, for how to best introduce breathing and meditation for trauma survivors.
Please read this email from Steven.
This is why I volunteer. This is why I am so damn proud to be a (small) part of an organization like yogaHOPE, who helps people close to home but also who are far away. The work is daunting, but experiences like Steven’s give me hope.
The yoga equivalent of running the Boston Marathon, Saluting the Spirit is a three hour yoga class team-taught by nine amazing instructors. The money raised goes to support Pathways to Wellness and yogaHOPE.
All donations are welcome, from $1 to $1,000,000!
SO EXCITED to be participating in Saluting the Spirit this year! [The official website now up and running!]
If you’re not sure what that is, Saluting the Spirit is a fundraiser for Pathways to Wellness and yogaHOPE. Participants sign up and commit to completing 108 Sun Salutations in a three hour class. This year, the event is on May 16th at Exhale in Boston, MA. The line-up of teachers who will be trading off to lead the Sun Salutations is incredible. After each teacher is finished their segment, they’ll be assisting the students. The all-star line up is:
So, here’s where you come in. Think I can make it? 108 salutations. Three hours of non-stop yoga. Bets can be placed starting now.
My donation page is set up here. [I'm also working on setting up a button on the side bar...] Please consider giving if you can. Even $10.00 helps! The money goes directly to Pathways to Wellness, which provides free acupuncture treatment for AIDS patients and to yogaHOPE (who I volunteer for) which brings free yoga classes into substance abuse and domestic violence shelters.
These organizations do incredible work. Help me in supporting them so they can continue to provide these services to people who need them most.
Not too far in the future, Haiti’s infrastructure will be coming back together and the world will begin to move on. The aid organizations will pack up and move on to the next disaster. And the people of Haiti will be left to deal with the emotional fallout. That’s where you come in.
Boston yogis, friends and family are gathering and gearing up for Project Haiti! yogaHOPE founder Sue Jones, Maggie Juliano of Sprout Yoga, David Emerson of the Trauma Center and Black Lotus Yoga, Mark Lilly of Street Yoga and Jennifer Cohen of Little Flower Yoga are creating a program to bring yoga to trauma survivors as well as the secondary victims, like the people of aid agencies. These yoga teachers already do amazing work in the local community bringing the healing effect of yoga to those with PSTD and trauma survivors … and now they’re bringing their expertise to Haiti.
For more information and to stay updated on the Project Haiti developments, please bookmark or subscribe to the Project Haiti blog.
Want to help? Here’s what we need right now:
- If you want to teach yoga, David Emerson will be offering training for volunteer yoga teachers. Email yogahope [AT] gmail [DOT] org to express interest. (Putting in “at symbols” and punctuation where necessary.)
- If you can help put Project Haiti in touch with supporters and fundraisers, please email yogahope [AT] gmail [DOT] org.
- Donate yoga mats and clothes to the project
- Donate studio space for teaching training
- Contact your local yoga studio to set up a donation class to help raise money for the project
- Donate frequent-flyer miles so we can get our yogis on the ground
This is a start. As plans continue to shape up, I’ll post more information. In the meantime, THANK YOU!
Questions? Comments? Leave ‘em here and let’s get this ball rolling!
Yesterday I volunteered at the open house at Prana benefiting yogaHOPE. We had a pretty good turn out considering the weather: yucky, cold rain. There were some great vendors: Wild Buddha, Lucy, Masnoon, Prana Cafe, people offering reflexology, therapeutic yoga sessions, and an incredible bake sale.
My bake sale contribution were these “too cute” chakra cookies. Major hat tip to Hilary Koloski of Cow & Crumb for frosting advice.
If you missed the open house, go check out yogaHOPE’s website. They do great work!
When we got up this morning, we finally had SNOW!!! Just a light dusting, no more than an inch or so. It’s nice to finally have some seasonable weather!
This year, instead of sending Christmas cards and gifts, I’ve donated the money to yogaHOPE, a local non-profit organization that provides therapeutic yoga to women in shelters, substance abuse programs and escaping domestic violence.
Are there any holidays traditions that you could spruce up, par down or do away with?
Note: Just found the post I wrote last year declaring it was the end of Christmas cards. Yay me for follow through! ::wink::