When I first agreed to teach the nuns, it meant I would miss Yoga Reaches Out May 1. In actuality, this experience with the nuns in Burma was its own version of Yoga Reaches Out, and in many ways reflects a similar concept. How can we bring our love of yoga out into the world, in a way that serves.
Yoga Reaches Out was created by Sarah Gardner, from Wayland, and I found it too late in 2013, but signed up in 2014. In 2015, I volunteered in both Boston and the Bay Area. What could be better? Right?
Yoga Reaches Out holds annual Yogathons in an expanding number of cities to support different children’s non-profits. One raises money in order to participate in a day of yoga, music and inspiration for a day along with 1000 other yogis. OTM teacher Sue Cushing is on one of the key committee members, Lorraine led a team in 2013 which I heard about too late, and Rebecca Pacheco is the MC this year, a role she’s played in the past. I practiced next to her in 2013 when she wasn’t on stage. I wonder if she remembers. We hadn’t met.
Other ways to support YRO is volunteering and holding donation classes. Teachers from all over the country, as well as beloved Boston based ones, teach in a fun round robin style for 2 to 3 hours in the morning, and again in the afternoon. Imagine 1000 yogis in Gillette’s Field House all committed to the same goal! Several booths surround the floor as well as a drawing in the noon raffle
Last year I volunteered YRO Bay Area. This was especially poignant because it is my hometown and YRO was raising money for Oakland/San Francisco Children’s Hospital, a place my sister Kassie was in and out of for the first 10 years of her life, due to being born with hydrocephalus. My high school friend Elise Collins was there, and we were also raising money for Off the Mat Into the World pioneered by Seane Corn, was the highlighted teacher. You will learn more about my connection to her in a later post.
Natalie Bartlett was a volunteer with me last year in Boston, and I planned to volunteer this year, but alas, karma brought me somewhere else. If you’d like to donate, any amount, you may do so here. It would be awesome to create a OTM Team next year. I promise it’s an awesome way to practice yoga “Off the Mat” from “On the Mat”.