Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Yoga Jam elevates spirit!




 From adversity comes opportunity, this is my touchstone these days. With the news of someone I love dearly being diagnosed with cancer, I find myself spinning and stagnant, worried about the adversity he's facing. I need inspiration. One call to my friend Julie and poof! Opportunity! She suggested I start a blog about the Yoga Jam events I've been running since September. The events inspire so much love and healing, now that's something to talk about! Ok I have a project.

The Yoga Jam events started very organically with a spark of an idea shared with some very inspiring people at lululemon. I wanted to raise some money for the Africa Yoga Project based on my experience at Baron Baptiste's teacher training. At this week long uber-intense personally transformative training I met Moses and Catherine who came from the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. I heard their stories first hand and my world shifted. Yes, I've traveled to 3rd world countries, I've seen hardship, I've always wanted to help but ended up feeling insignificant and kind of numb. Hearing how Moses and Catherine are now reaching out to their community of impoverished, malnourished, degraded and hopeless living in the slums of Nairobi, I saw intention into action. Do they need to be the most educated, most bendy, most stylie yogies in order to touch a soul? No on your life. They actively find the most unlikely places to teach - the alleyways, the dark dusty rooms, the prisons, the desert and they move people. For some who's lives have been devastated by war, hate, AIDS, tribalism and poverty simply taking a big breath is a gift. We can all tap into how stress affects our bodies, but can we to the degree that some drastically less fortunate than us can? I can't. But I certainly can do what I can to help bring some support to them. And while I'm at it, can I bring joy to you? Can I start right here in my own community? Can we collectively take one big breath? YES!

The Yoga Jam is about bringing people together and seeing what's possible. It's about elevating spirit, cultivating community and generating abundance. Held in Whistler's Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre, the first event brought 6 teachers, 1 DJ, 1 pro photographer, 65 participants and raised $2000 for the Africa Yoga Project. People were lit up! So it was decided, once a month we'll create something new by bringing different teachers, featuring local talent, playing music, sing, dance and hug. So far we've had 6 Yoga Jam events and each one has been unique and dazzling. Teachers from Saskatoon (Andrew Barclay), Vancouver (Peter Elmas, Reno Muenz, Clara Roberts-Oss, Lara Kozan and Will Blunderfield) and Whistler (Julia McCabe, Kristin Campbell, Jessica Kamell, Janet Corvino, Christina Tottle, and me). This month (March 26) local teachers Tanya Di Valentino and Colleen Felgate will bring their sweet and spicy flavour to the event. I can't wait to see what they create together. As very different people who respect each other enormously, their different teaching styles will bring out the yin and yang of yoga.

My intention with this blog is to write about the events, share images and stories, and continue in the mission to elevate, cultivate and generate! This is my opportunity to share some of the stories that come from the planning of the event, what was created during the event and what we have been able to achieve with the donations from the event. The interest in this event goes far beyond our amazing little playground called Whistler. Other yogis who have an interest in either connecting with their communities or in raising funds are seeing the Yoga Jam as a successful event and would like to emulate this format. It's amazing to me how far the vibrations of love (saccharin?) have reached. The money raised is going to help with education, school construction, community outreach and much more, but it's the energetic outpouring of a loving gathering that's really making an impact. It's what it's all about. Dave from Früv said at the end of last month's Yoga Jam "That's the most love I've felt at one time...ever!"

So join the love Saturday March 26th at Whistler's Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre (www.slcc.ca) for an all ages, all levels really fun yoga event. If you've been putting off getting back into yoga this is the event that will light the spark in you. If you are a first timer, stiff, super bendy, shy, extroverted, type a, type z, there is something for everyone at this event.

See you at the Yoga Jam and stay posted for more updates, photos and stories!

Erin Anderson

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Yoga Jam Events
My name is Erin Anderson, I'm in love with yoga. I found out how to love deeper, live lighter and reach further through yoga. I'm passionate about sharing just that. In order to do that, I created The Yoga Jam Events as a means to elevate spirit, cultivate community and generate abundance. Coming together in play, breath and movement we can make real impact in the world, starting in Kenya with a possibility that knows no bounds. Each Yoga Jam Event donates proceeds to the Africa Yoga Project www.africayogaproject.org. This blog is dedicated to what I've learned along the way.
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