Monday, 30 May 2011

Yoga Without Boundaries

Ryan Leier, founder of Yoga Vinyasa for Youth
May 21 marked the 9th Yoga Jam Event in Whistler and for me this event went to a new level. For one, my goal of raising $10,000 has been met and exceeded. For another the event is reaching out to new people of various ages, abilities, health...the boundaries are expanding.

Ryan Leier, a yogi with a remarkable open and loving quality, flew out from Saskatoon, brought a huge posse to the event and connected us all in a soulful and rich practice. He is the Director of One Yoga, Saskatoon and now Vancouver as well as the founder of Yoga Vinyasa for Youth. He is bringing yoga to the most important demographic, our future leaders.

Ryan co-taught with Reno Muenz, his student and fellow teacher. The respect between these two inspired me. His business partner Dustin Fruson assisted the participants in a strong and supportive way. Ryan has a community of friends, co-workers, partners and students that is rich and committed. Much like his own yoga practice.

Big connection and lots of love at the Yoga Jam!
People ask me "how do you get these teachers to come, fly out from various cities and teach for free?" If I had to think about it and plan for it I don't think it would happen. Tension comes into my body when I think about "convincing" people. But the Yoga Jam Event is the easiest event to enroll people into. All I do is ask. Photographers, musicians, volunteers, they are all a big yes, and it has nothing to do with me. Yoga works like that. I have reached out to the very vast Baptiste trained teachers since they all have a special link to the Africa Yoga Project. We're like a big family that supports this incredible initiative and we all have huge respect and admiration for Paige Elenson who is the founder. Both Ryan and Paige share the ability to see Yoga as a means for connection and peace, no matter who, no matter where. They very often face obstacles in their quest to reach out but they keep on saying yes and venturing forward. Paige often says, "I don't know how, but I keep on saying yes." Through them I see now what my vision is to offer Yoga Beyond Boundaries, yes with capital letters.

Each Yoga Jam Event brings new faces and people willing to "give it a try". This last event brought over 60 people of 3 generations together from 6 to 70. Beyond Boundaries. We worked in pairs, connected through breath, laughed as we toppled over, perhaps even went into a pose that we hadn't considered possible. Beyond Boundaries.

Crista Shillington "backpacking"! 
The next Yoga Jam Event is in Vancouver, generously hosted by Gloria Latham at Semperviva, City Studio June 18 from 1-3pm. She has offered up her biggest studio along with three of her most lit up teachers to lead us through an all-styles yoga practice. Crista Shillington, Wes Salter, Cameron Gilley and Gloria will give us a taste of Yin, Power, Hatha and Kundalini yoga set to live music.

All I had to do was ask. Gloria was a swift yes and saw no boundaries what so ever. Now trust me, I do get to hear no, probably more often than I mention. But with this event, somehow I don't seem to care, I keep asking anyway. The yes answers I get are so bright and memorable that the nos drift away. One person, one breath, one yes at a time. I am up to dropping boundaries.

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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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