As you may or may not know (I didn’t), September is “National Yoga Month.” Studios all over the U.S. will be offering a free week of yoga. As it happens, the first annual day of “Thank You, Mother India” will be September 17. It’s sponsored by Yoga Gives Back, an organization founded by Kayoko Mitsumatsu (Q&A to come), dedicated to supporting women in India by building awareness here in the States, and beyond.
Now, it seems interesting to me that these two things are happening in the same month. One is designed to expand the ever-expanding yoga culture in the U.S. The other is designed to show gratitude, a reminder that India is the source of the practice, and, ultimately, responsible for its benefits.
Leslie Hendry has a wonderful article over at The Huffington Post about the organization and the event; she also talks about her own sense of gratitude, and the role of our teacher, Jörgen Christiansson. She makes this excellent point about the difference between a yoga practice, and her old life working out in a gym:
I knew no one and spoke to no one. This is how I rolled for years. I still know no one from the gyms I frequented, and I’ve never reminisced about padding the mechanical stairs. I certainly didn’t help launch a non-profit to give back to a culture that brought weigh training into my life. But that’s what I did after I hit the yoga path.
Now, here’s what I propose. Certainly, those of us who have been practicing for years (15 total now, for me) don’t need to be given a free week of yoga. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve got friends who are teaching for free in September, and it’s a great idea. But, instead of taking a free week, why not give the equivalent of a week to Yoga Gives Back?
As Leslie and the Yoga Gives Back website point out, “For the cost of one yoga class, you can change a life.” What would the cost of a week of yoga mean? My fellow Ashtangis, the dollar equivalent of a six-day practice is a nice bit of cash and would do a lot of good.
Come find out more. See you Sept. 17.
Posted by Bobbie