Saturday, 23 April 2011

what it's all about

I am so excited that the fabulousness of the Yoga Jam Events is spreading into other communities. Recently two Rachels put on a sweet Yoga Jam Event in their home town of Eagle Colorado. So many beautiful stories came from it, connections were made, abundance generated and the community was elevated. Perfection! Stay connected to the Yoga Jam happenings on the Yoga Jam Events Facebook Page. Help me with my goal to get over 1000ppl to "like" the page so we can spread the awareness.

Recently I met many amazing people at the lululemon ambassador summit in Whistler. I had the privileged spending time with my teacher Baron Baptiste as well as Leah Cullis who is lighting up the Baptiste world. The room was electric with uber keen people and a very positive vibe, and not the cheesy fake kind, the really grounded super honest and vulnerable kind. One such person is Lisa Shields from the lululemon store in Carlsbad California. Sweet, energetic and a walking breathing YES. She is all about hosting a Yoga Jam Event in her community! Yes! My vision of taking the event around the globe is happening, one community at a time. Carlsbad watch out, Lisa is unleashed!

Lisa is busy planning her event and asked me for the guidelines of the event. I started writing and thought that I would share my vision blogstyle. So here it is! If you would like to host a Yoga Jam Event in your community let me know! erin@whitegoldyoga.com


The Yoga Jam Events
What it's all about, by Erin Anderson

The Yoga Jam was born out of an experience I had while at my Level 2 teacher training in Tulum Mexico with Baron Baptiste. I had the privilege to train with two Kenyans, Moses and Catherine, who generously shared their incredible story of hope and courage with us. They both grew up in circumstances so far from my realm of understanding that it motivated to be a part of the change. Their courage to step out of the dismal and hopeless life of living in the slums of Nairobi moved me to the core. I could see how strongly they linked new possibilities and hope with yoga and how they were clearly spreading the words of love and peace throughout their country. If they can do it, so can I.

The first Yoga Jam in September 2010, was a collection of great teachers coming together to share in what they love with our community with the sole purpose to raise money for the Africa Yoga Project. It was quickly apparent that it was so much more. Our community stepped up with unsolicited draw prize contributions from lululemon, Fruv, Wild Play, Scandinave, Capoeira Martial Arts School, Belly Fit, and YYoga. A Capoeira demonstration with drums and songs got the crowd revved up and ready to practice yoga!

Participants loved the space (Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre www.slcc.ca), were moved by the mission to raise money for the Africa Yoga Project and most of all they had fun! Many participants asked to do it again so the monthly Yoga Jam Event was born.

The format includes other elements such as dance, music or a wellness demonstration. Each month features different yoga teachers creating a fresh vibe.


THE VISION
To raise awareness and funds for the Africa Yoga Project. The Yoga Jam Events will raise $100,000 for AYP while transforming communities all over the world. The Yoga Jam Events are in over 6 countries and continually foster a sense of well being all over the world.


The mission
Elevate spirit, cultivate community and generate abundance.


ELEVATE SPIRIT
Yoga brings people together in a peaceful, generous, welcoming way. The Yoga Jam is a safe environment where people of all ages and abilities can come together in unity, wellness and a sense of belonging. Through a yoga practice we can more easily come into the fullest expression of ourselves. This leaves everyone uplifted and more open to share their great spirit with others.


CULTIVATE COMMUNITY
Yoga naturally leads us to a common ground; the desire to get to the heart of the matter. As we reveal who we truly are, powerful connections are possible. We realize that we are all the same even while expressing ourselves in unique ways. The fabric of a community is strengthened and a core value of connection is created.


GENERATE ABUNDANCE
Generating abundance for others is being in action in terms of giving back. Most of us have great intentions but rarely act on them. This forum allow for a win win to happen as participants gain a sense of wellness while giving back to those in need. This combination creates a powerful energy and will release the grip of ego and allow participants to come from a place of freedom.


EVENT FORMAT
The yoga jam is a fun welcoming event which speaks to the roots of yoga; love. The 1.5 hr practice is a fun and inspiring yoga class set in a welcoming environment. Preferably a Baptiste Power Vinyasa flow that is appropriate for all levels with the sole purpose of elevating spirit, cultivating community and generating abundance.



The 2 hour event is opened and closed by Erin Anderson or a representative. This is an opportunity to bring awareness to what the Africa Yoga Project is up to and to discuss how the powers of yoga can transform our own community as well.

100% of the proceeds from the Yoga Jam go toward the Africa Yoga Project which trains and employs yoga teachers who come from the slums of Nairobi. The Africa Yoga Project uses the transformative power of yoga to empower communities and change lives. AYP delivers effective and innovative programs that foster peace, improve physical, emotional and mental well-being, facilitate self-sufficiency and create opportunities to learn and contribute across the communities of East Africa. Visit www.africayogaproject.org to learn more.

For more information or to get involved contact erin@whitegoldyoga.com.

 

Monday, 18 April 2011

Growing Pains

Lately I've been thinking a lot about growing pains. My four year old son asks "mummy why are my legs sore? Growing pains. My brother's cancer has not been contained. Growing pains. I find myself sitting beside my teacher and mentor Baron Baptiste at the lululemon Ambassador Summit and teeter between giddy and sulky. Growing pains.

Growth is a version of change. I suspect that my son is more excited about his growth spurts than I am, and I am certain that I am resisting accepting that my brother has cancer, that kind of change was not part of the plan. But as the Chinese proverb goes, "When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills."

From change I am inevitably lead to make a choice. How do I choose to grow? Kicking and resisting? Creating a story around my reactions? Or do I stand up, spread my arms wide and say "bring it". This option can be messy, but I want to experience reaching too far, missing the brass ring, getting up to try again. I know I didn't come into this world asking for a boring life. I know I am up to creating something that has impact and that matters. The trouble with growing pains is that there is always something bigger to reach for. 

My goal to raise $10,000 for the Africa Yoga Project through the Yoga Jam Events is coming close. Really close. So I ask myself, what's next? I up my goal to $100,000. Growing pains. So I move into the living room of possibilities. I settle into not knowing the how, but keeping a clear sight on the why. And I am quite sure that there will be many face plants along the way. 

My son will grow into strong sturdy legs that will support him. My brother's cancer offers an opportunity for our entire family to transform. The growing pains of dealing with cancer has given his children a reason to look up from their cell phones to see the bigger picture. I pinch myself as Baron Baptiste, three Olympians, a lululemon athletica big wig, one bad ass yogi and I hit Whistler Mountain with a playful reckless abandon. Each of us wanting to go steeper, faster, hit  jumps, stick em or not...that's living. We dig the snow out of our pants, stand back up, dust off the goggles and set our sights on the bigger picture: to live with the wind under our wings, reach high, smile and take some hits along the way. Life is meant to be bumpy, it's weather or not we loosen the grip and enjoy the ride that matters. Growing GAINS!
Monday, 4 April 2011

Elevate by being happy.

I've been grappling with the notion that every time I sit down to write about the Yoga Jam it seems to revolve around Cancer lately. You may wonder, if I've been so personally affected by Cancer, why would I be fundraising for the Africa Yoga Project? The answer is deep, complex and truthfully not completely formulated in my mind.

I will start by saying that my personal experience at my teacher training with Baron Baptiste showed me that I have an ability to stand up and have a say. I was so moved by hearing about Moses and Catherine's journey from the slums of Nairobi to teaching Yoga in their community that I had to stand. I was brought to my feet. Moved. It occurs to me that I stand for something. I can take a stand for those who want to fight for change. Those who fight against all odds to bring about peace, to themselves or others are my heros and I want to be a champion to them.

I work, sing, promote, love the Africa Yoga Project and all that it stands for simply because it makes me happy. Cancer makes me scared and pissed. Yoga is breath, Cancer is fear. Yoga is wellness, Cancer is illness. These are the deep felt, not ever expressed out loud kind of feelings I have. I guess it leads to the question, what gets us to stand up? What are we willing to work for? Is it to make a statement, make money, make friends, get love? Maybe all of it, maybe none, we are so individual and absolutely right in our motives. I'm driven to bring peace to Africa in a big way, and I admit that it's fueled by how pissed I am at Cancer. Does it need to make sense? No. Not even to me. I just know that I follow my heart, follow my intuition and keep moving forward no matter the obstacles. And obstacles, judgment and resistance is plenty in all our lives. The greatest source of both inspiration and degradation comes from my internal chit chat. I can only start to affect change in the world by getting out of my own way. I say that phrase often because it's so clear to me that the only thing that stops me from greatness is me. My fear. My anger. The story I create.

I watch my Dad coach my brother through his Cancer treatment, cheer him on. This is a long way from little league. I look down at my own 5 year old son and the pain is unimaginable. Too hot to touch. I strap on my running shoes and try to make sense of it, pounding the pavement trying to shake off the helplessness I feel. If I can't help him right now, what can I do? I become a crusader for something that can change, support a project that is in line with all that I believe in. Generate hope. Somehow the work becomes easy. I'm driven. It may be true that I am avoiding really looking Cancer in the eye, but I don't care. I looked my mum in the eye through two bouts of Breast Cancer, I look my brother in the eye as he questions how this happened to him, I look all the Cancer patients in the eye as I wait for my mammogram appointment. And still I choose to send my energy, love, support, hard work to the Africa Yoga Project. Why? Because it makes me happy.

Please come to the next Yoga Jam April 30th.  Help elevate the world by doing something that makes you happy - I promise this is it! Who knows this may lead to the cure for Cancer! Yoga is full of endless possibilities.

You can also support this cause by visiting the Yoga Jam Events Facebook Page and "like" it!

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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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