Saturday, January 18, 2014

What I'm Doing

WHO I AM: My name is Nancy L. Stockdale, and I live in Denton, Texas. I am a professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of North Texas. I'm a native Californian, love my dogs, take a lot of photographs, and I practice yoga regularly.

WHAT I'M DOING: I'm dedicating a 40 day yoga challenge in which I'm taking part to the International Rescue Committee's work on behalf of Syrian refugees. The war in Syria has displaced at least six million civilians, both inside and outside of Syria, and IRC is working with them to meet their basic needs, as well as get them back to their homes safely. I've decided to use my yoga challenge to raise money to help as many Syrians as possible while they are in this dreadful situation. I'll use this blog to record my 40 days of yoga journey. The challenge begins on January 26th and ends on March 6th. This is a 40 Days to Personal Revolution program, fashioned by Baron Baptiste, and based at the yoga studio where I practice, Authentic Yoga Life in Denton. I'll be doing yoga six days a week (giving myself one rest day a week), as well as practicing daily meditation, eating healthy, and working to set my intention on helping others. The yoga styles I will practice are Power Vinyasa yoga (95 degrees F heated room) and Yin Yoga. On the days that I can't make it to a class at the studio, I will do yoga at home (and document it) using my Gaiam TV subscription and (if I get my beta access on time) My Yoga Pro.

WHY I'M DOING IT: As a scholar of the Middle East, I think about this war and its devastating toll every day. Although I have never been to Syria (unfortunately), I've spent a lot of time in the rest of the Levant, and, as a specialist in Palestinian history, I'm well acquainted with refugee issues. No one wants to be a refugee, and no one leaves his or her home willingly. It's simply a horrifying thing to be uprooted and to have no idea when you will be able to get back home, if ever. I've been trying to figure out a way that I could make a small difference, and realized that getting sponsors for my yoga challenge would be an effective way to raise some funds for an organization whose work is crucial and whose reputation is stellar. I hope that the money will make a difference in some people's lives.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Please consider sponsoring my yoga challenge by clicking here and making a donation to the IRC. All donations are tax deductible. If you cannot give, please consider sharing my donation page on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others. You can use the share widgets on the right-hand side of this blog, as well as on my donation page itself. Thank you so much! Namaste.

Here's a photo of me doing Half Moon Pose, taken in Nov 2013 by my Yin Yoga teacher, Nancy Nelson.

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