Thursday, January 30, 2014

Days 4 & 5

New to this site? Here's an explanation of what I'm doing.

I'm now five days into my 40 days of yoga, and I'm excited that I've been able to raise $120 of my $500 goal for the IRC's work with Syrian Refugees! Please click here if you'd also like to donate, and please share the site through social media among your friends and family.

Yesterday, I had a crazy-busy (and at times, stressful) day. What was wonderful, though, was that I was able to start my day with my Day 4 yoga class--this time, it was a Yin Yoga class at my studio, Authentic Yoga Life, led by one of my amazing teachers, Nancy Nelson. Nancy is a natural teacher, and she has a very calm demeanor when she's teaching that I really appreciate. I definitely needed that class, so I was very grateful! Yin yoga can be hard sometimes, because you have a lot of time sitting in intense poses with nothing but your brain and potentially some physical "sensation." However, I always find that I leave Nancy's classes feeling very relaxed and a lot more open in my joints and tendons (the point of Yin). She is very encouraging, and I also love that she usually plays a subtle, beautiful soundtrack during her classes. Getting in my yin first thing in the morning made my day a lot more manageable, so by the time I got to go out and visit with my friend Jen at our Happy Hour standby Hannah's, I was probably a much better companion than I would have been without class!

Today I got to start my day off with yoga, too--this time, with an awesome hot power vinyasa class led by another of my amazing teachers, Rachel Merriman. Rachel is such an inspiring teacher, and she always says really thoughtful things, like "lead with your heart" and "hold the pose for one more breath, because you can." Those words don't sound like meaningless platitudes when she says them, because they clearly come from a genuine, encouraging place. With her encouragement, I usually achieve a lot more in class than I think I can. I love Rachel's classes and always leave feeling really energized after them. I am so lucky that each of the yoga teachers at AYL are all amazing, and very different!

In our class today, I was thinking about the crisis of Syrian refugees and how it's a story that few people are really hearing about in the United States, despite its scope and global impact. The United Nations declared the catastrophe "the greatest humanitarian crisis of our times." Just let that sink in for a moment. Our mainstream media often focuses more on celebrities and pseudo-news, but this is something that impacts all of us. Even if we live far away from Syria and the many refugee camps that have grown up in the countries around it, the displacement of over 6 million people will have a major impact on the Middle East for generations. And that region of the world is important for geopolitics, economics, energy, faith, environment, and culture. So please, consider donating to the IRC's work, and/or sharing my website, and especially, learning more about the situation these displaced people face. I will write more about life in refugee camps in my next blog entry.

Here's a powerful and informative video from the United Nations about the human cost of war in Syria.

Thank you for reading. Namaste.

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