Have you stopped lately to think about how blessed we are? We have the best Yoga and Fitness studio in the world! There are so many classes to choose from and new ones have been added to the summer schedule. From Janet’s Friday night Yoga/Nidra class to Bridget’s TRX, we have challenging classes that work our mind and body. I am amazed and yet not at all surprised by the installation of the new equipment in the urban studio. This commitment of supplies shows the heart that Carla has for us and our practice.
And now it’s time to take our blessings of love and give back to the community in the way of Karma Yoga. What is Karma Yoga? Dave Frawley, the author of Yoga and Ayurveda, says that it is the work or action that is two fold – prayers and rituals AND…… the upliftment of the world.
When Carla and I embarked on our teacher training, we were asked to ponder how we could benefit society with our yoga practice and instruction. We both knew that Karma Yoga was part of our future. We also knew that we had to take these gifts and give them to women in need, women at risk or simply to women who could not afford yoga. To quote Jessamyn Stanley, a nationally known instructor, “Yoga shouldn’t be exclusive to skinny, affluent, white women.” If you don’t know whom I’m referring to, look for her videos on YouTube. She is very inspiring with her message of body and soul awareness.
Back to the definition of Karma Yoga. Frawley says “Most practitioners of yoga are expected to do some work of service called seva in Sanskrit.” He goes on to suggest providing clothes for the needy, volunteering in schools and at food banks and overall helping people in various forms of social awareness.
We at Premier have run for the Arlington women’s shelter and breast cancer research, collected bras for the girls and shoes for the needy and now we have an opportunity to give free yoga lessons to homeless women in Ft. Worth and women at risk in Mansfield. Remember those bins we filled with bras and feminine products? I delivered them to a nonprofit organization called Transforming Lives. The staff of Transforming Lives provide, along with generous sponsors, stability, job skills, budgeting classes, housing and a daycare, all located in an historic building in downtown Ft. Worth. This group helps women get back on their feet in real and practical ways. And we can help by giving the gift of yoga. I will bring the joy of asanas and teach yoga to the residents on Thursday afternoons starting in August.
We need your help! How so? Yoga mats and clothes! Also, if you would like to volunteer your time, come practice with me and be that experienced yogi that can help by demonstrating and encouraging the newbies. Carla and I are so excited to provide Karma Yoga for our sisters who are at risk. We can take the spirit of yoga to enrich lives, provide social change and engage and the empower the mind as the women explore the benefits of yoga.
Sometime in the Fall we will help women closer to home as we partner with First Methodist Mansfield Church to provide classes. Stay tuned for more details about that and stories from Ft. Worth!
Saint Francis of Asisi said, “Make me a channel of peace, guide me to love with all my soul.” Let’s do this in the spirit of Karma Yoga! Let’s do this to uplift the world and our community, let’s do this so that the gift of yoga can help transform lives!