Doing the Good Work

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It’s 108 time. Time for the Yoga Mala and our collective effort to raise money for those in need. Time to all get together to move, breathe, sweat and count them down for a good cause. Time to join in with our fellow yogis from all styles. Hot, Hold, Power, Vinyasa… it doesn’t matter where you practice. We all come together for the Mala. The Yoga Mala this year is being held on March 1st at the RiverMill Landing in Dover from 9am to 12pm.

Last year’s Mala was a huge success. A lofty goal was set of $40,000. And that goal was shattered, raising $57K. This year, the bar is set even higher at $60,000. Wow, that’s a lot of money being raised by our yogis. Where do the funds go?

The funds go to support 3 Vital Non-Profits. It helps those who need help with heating and fuel assistance in Rockingham, Strafford Counties in New Hampshire and York County in Maine.

It goes to Seacoast Eat Local, a nonprofit that runs year round farmers markets. Specifically, the funds go to their SNAP program. This program enables SNAP or Food Stamp recipients to use their EBT cards to purchase healthy, fresh, and locally produced food at farmers’ markets.

And thirdly it goes to SATYA.

SATYA is a somewhat new local non-profit. In its third year with the mission to provide resources which link qualified teachers to aspiring yogis in a variety of settings and with unique considerations.
But what does that really mean? And why is this so important for our community and world?

Yoga is meant for everyone. Yoga can benefit everyone. From learning to stand taller and be more comfortable in our own skin, to applying moral and ethical principles to live a fuller, deeper more connected life.

It’s 3 Bridges mission to make yoga accessible to all. But that doesn’t negate that we’re still a business and that we have to make money to pay our teachers, keep the lights on and serve the community. I’d love to offer lower rates, or specialized programs reaching out to those who can’t necessarily make it to yoga studio. But sometimes those aren’t viable business decisions.

Whether through today’s modern day suffering of anxiety, depression, control, addiction or deeper suffering like abuse, trauma, and serious disease, we all suffer. Yoga is one answer to suffering. I feel very fortunate that my suffering is mild. I get stressed running a business, raising kids, finding balance with family and friends, as well as the mind made stresses like anxiety, ego, fear, etc. Yoga reminds me of the resources I have to manage and be with them.

But there are many people who don’t have easy access to yoga or need a more specialized program than what traditional yoga studios can offer. Also, specialized training needs to happen in order to best serve underserved communities. In a normal 200 hour yoga training, yoga teachers aren’t trained how to teach seniors, at-risk youth, or trauma survivors. Think of a world where people from all walks of life can access a yoga practice. Bringing yoga to military veterans, to those battling and recovering from cancer, to prisoners and shelters. This is the REAL work.

So here comes SATYA with a bold mission. Bringing the therapeutic practice of yoga to our neighbors in need. They’ve done a lot of hard work to get the organization off the ground. (Thanks guys!) But they need more funds to sustain, grow and deliver even better programs. See what’s already going on here.

http://www.seacoastsatya.com/

But running a non-profit isn’t easy. Budgets are slim, volunteers give their time, and it’s hard work. By participating or giving to the Yoga Mala, you directly help those in need who need heat and fuel assistance. You allow for more access to local food. You help train yoga teachers to be more skillful. You give a light and healing to your friends in need. This is yoga.

–Bjorn

PS You can also help by spreading the work of SATYA. It’s great to have these programs, but if people don’t show up for them, then it’s for naught.

PSS – You can give to 3 Bridges Yoga Mala team here. We are also having a Yoga Mala Fundraiser class, February 27th, Noon, Portsmouth.

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