Six years ago I stumbled into a Kundalini Yoga class searching for a way to reduce stress, for connection and peace of mind. As I laughed and cried my way through that class (both producing tears of joy) that I found exactly what I was looking for. As I began a daily practice that soon evolved into practicing the same kriya (yoga set) for 1,000 consecutive days, I felt my heart open, I learned how to make time for me & how to relax, I learned and experienced self-discipline, self love and forgiveness. My yoga mat became my healer, therapist and confidant. You may have known me before yoga and you may have witnessed the way in which it helped take the edge off, I became more tolerant, understanding, loving. I became more respectful of mother earth and held more compassion for others which allowed me to not only listen, but hear with my heart. Kundalini Yoga has softened the rough edges in me… which is part of the reason I continue to practice, I am a work in progress!
It wasn’t long after I started practicing that knew I had to teach this amazing practice and share it with others. I knew it was my obligation. I was so excited to teach after I completed Teacher Training in 2010 I started teaching that summer. I have had the opportunity to witness students open their hearts during class, learn how to relax, laugh, make friends and share their lives and experiences. This yoga practice is truly amazing.
Two years ago I was blessed to partner with two extraordinary women (one of whom is the teacher from my first class!) to form Urban Yoga Chicago. In the last two years, we have offered and hosted Classes, Chanting, Kirtan, Class Mobs, Flash Mobs, Gluten-Free Vegetarian Cook Togethers, a Labyrinth on the beach and more. Through all of this we have seen a community of absolutely remarkable people connect and grow.
In just three weeks, we begin our very first year of Teacher Training with Urban Yoga Chicago. Our trainers are knowledgeable & experienced, our mentors supportive & enthusiastic and our program is KRI certified & comprehensive. Our goal is to create leaders who will graduate and move into their communities with the grace and the skill to effect change. This maybe by teaching yoga to suits in a corporate setting or to children in an underserved school. It maybe organizing volunteers to work in a soup kitchen or to clean up a neighborhood. The possibilities are literally limitless. Yogi Bhajan taught us to be a forklift, he said if you lift somebody else, God shall lift you.
I am writing this, to ask you to be a forklift. We need your help.
Our Be a Forklift campaign ends Friday. We need to raise another $5500 to meet our goal. Yes it is a large goal and yes we believe it can be done. We currently have 14 students registered for teacher training and another 6 who are in need of scholarship and we are continuing to interview new applicants in the coming days. We need your help to fund these leaders, donating any amount will help us move closer to our goal. There is a lot at stake here. If we do not make our goal, we do not see any of the money that has been raised.
Why is this important? Last year, with tears in my eyes, I had the opportunity to thank my teacher’s teacher for teaching. I am here because he had the courage to begin teaching years ago when there wasn’t a yoga studio on every other block in Chicago and certainly very few people had heard of Kundalini Yoga. So when I reflect back to 2009 and think of not being able to take Teacher Training, I can feel a lump in my throat.
I believe in the ripple effect and I think of the people who I have taught and how their lives have shifted because of this practice and the way in which that impacts their friends and family and everyone who they come into contact with. I think of the relationships that I would not have formed and the lives that would not have been touched. Would the students have found another teacher? Possibly. Would Urban Yoga Chicago exist? Unlikely. I believe we uniquely exist because of what each of the three of us brings to the team as individuals, teachers, leaders and yoginis.
Help us continue the ripple effect. Help us ding the universe with more teachers and more leaders. Please, Be a Forklift and help our 6 create their stories. If you have donated, thank you and thank you for sharing our campaign with others!
What do you need to do? It’s easy, just watch the video, donate and share, share, share. Please continue to pray for our success.