This past Saturday, 100 Yoga studios from around the World participated in Room to Read’s “Global Yoga Day”, raising money for Girl’s Scholarships in India (costs 250$/year to support a girl). Our LA Chapter secured 2 studios within a block from each other in Santa Monica. I truly felt that Karmic Vibration from the moment I woke up at 7am, knowing studios across the world had begun, while other studios were finishing up.
Our first class was at Bhakti Yoga Shala at 8am, taught by the energetic, funny teacher Molly O’Leary. Bhakti translates to “devotion” in Sanskrit, and this style of Yoga has become very popular. Bhakti Yoga holds devotional chanting classes called “Kirtan” throughout the week and the teachers have their unique way of teaching outside the traditional Hatha Yoga. This was my first time at the studio, but certainly not my last. Before the class started, Molly had happily announced that she had already raised 250$ the night before through a Kareoke night with friends through a donation jar! Yay!
We then began the class with an “Omm” for all children around the world, and for the child within all of us. Loosened our bodies through some awakening stretches and learned a new mantra “Gobinday, Mukanday, Udaaray, Apaaray, Hareeang, Kareeang, Nirnaamay Akaamay” which translates to
‘Sustainer, Liberator, Enlightener, Infinite, Destroyer, Creator, Nameless, Desireless.’ (These are the eight aspects or Names of the Creator). Along with the physical poses, we also laughed & jumped for a few minutes, feeling that it really works to just smile and laugh more. All our mood’s lightened the room!
The 90 minute class came to an end so fast. We ended with my favorite Mantra “Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bhavantu” ~ May all beings in the World be Happy & Free, and had our closing Om’s and thank you’s and I was enthused for the next class, not knowing how we could have topped that.
11:30 soon approached and our friends and volunteers began to trickle into Yogi’s Anonymous. We counted about 42 students, a full-house mat-to-mat!! Founder Ally Hamilton & the awesome Kourtney Kaas co-taught a 2 hour Vinyasa yoga class with Live DJ Philip Steir, with a lovely cartoonish painting of Ganesh, the Destroyer of Obstacles, on the wall. Our Vinyasa (linking breath with movement) flowing turned up the Tapas (heat) which helped purify our bodies through sweat and twists that wring out our toxins.
After our class, we had glutten-free chocolate brownies, vegan chocolate chip cookies, pita chips and hummus available for all our altruistic Yogi’s to share. There was also a silent auction with generously donated items from Lululemon, Whole foods, Palomar Hotel Stay and more!
On behalf of the Girl’s in India who will now have scholarships to attend school and the family at Room to Read, I want to thank all those that attended our classes, the generous auction donors, Room to Read Zurich Chapter Juli Bailer & Carolyn Luond for putting this all together, Bala & Kamla Subramanian who secured Yogis Anonymous, friends that donated and sent us Love even if you couldn’t physically be there. We raised $2251 just in our LA Chapter, and Walmart Corporate has matched it with a contribution of $2000 -a total of $4251!! That has exceeded beyond our expectation as my initial goal was $1000! Definitely a wonderful way to spend Sabbath day with our community. Looking forward to Global Yoga day in 2013!! Love & Namaste ~ Jacki.