Give to Get


Sometimes  I have good mornings, you know those mornings, the ones where you made the coffee right and it tastes good and no one spends their first waking moments whining, and  someone else walks the dog and you have time to do whatever it is you want. This morning was one of those mornings. Oh I should have practiced first thing instead of playing Mob Wars and I should have taken the dog to get some exercise right away, but outside of my own imposed guilt I had a great morning.

 I woke to the front door opening, meaning my daughter was back from walking the dog. I called out good morning, she called back and then slam. The door closed and she was gone for the day. Well! That meant i was home alone (the boys are out of town). So I started the water for coffee and fired up the computer.

And when I have one of the good mornings I like to get inspired about my day right off the bat. One of the ways I do this is hit a few of my favorite web sites. Daryn Kagan is all about inspiration and today I checked in and the opening video was about a woman who focused on others instead of herself by giving away 29 things in 29 days. Cami Walker then went on to inspire others to give. 
 And just in case you don’t go see the video Walker was not in a good place in her life. She had problems and concerns and she was scared and still she managed to focus on others.

Maybe I’m a little sappy. Yeah, I know I am, but I got a rush watching this woman create change in her life. And it comes at such an interesting time for me. Not only have I felt my life in a slump, unable to move forward or to excite me, but I’ve been tossing around the idea of teaching a free or donations-based yoga class. I want to give to the community in a tangible way, but I’m also broke. And just so you know that I’m not completely selfless I also know that a free class will get my name out there and hopefully garner some paying private clients.

Since seeing this video I’m been wondering if I can create abundance out of giving. And I don’t mean add to my income, but can I create an income by giving away? This is a really new, off the top of my head kind of post so don’t expect too many words of wisdom here. Hopefully, I’m starting your gears turning or at least entertaining you.

I think of giving yoga as a way of paying it forward. People need yoga. I know this deep in my bones. Two weeks after 9/11 I went to Yoga Journal Conference to find my class schedule had been turned upside down. Why? Because many of the senior level teachers from the New York area had opted to stay in New York, opening their doors to the general public for free and teaching free yoga classes in Central Park. It’s hard to complain about having to switch classes for something like that right? Yoga is a way of being present with your emotions, of healing, of centering, of finding peace in the midst of chaos, which those New Yorkers were surely in. Yoga helps create kindness and peace, which we all surely need.

I look at who practices yoga in this country and I think we can do better. With drop-in rates soaring to $15-$20 per 90 minute session in the middle of a recession, let’s face it, yoga is for the privileged. Yes, there are programs out there offering it for free and there are cities whose Rec. departments offer it at a more reasonable rate, but  forced to choose between gas to get to work, food for the kids or even a little perk for the kids like toys or that super cool ______ that your kid really really really wants, guess what happens to yoga in people’s lives? I’m seeing it more and more in what kind of clients I attract. One of my clients has been talking me up to her coworkers hoping to share with them how wonderful she feels, as well as drum up business for me. And their response is consistently that they can’t afford such a luxury right now. 

And I wonder how we got to a place in this country that a healing practice is considered a luxury. And it convinces me even more that yoga needs to be more accessible. Today I have made an appointment to see a space at the senior center where I can teach yoga for free. If the space and time and relationship suits all involved I will start teaching in two weeks-enough time for me to get the word out.

Imagine a community where all of it’s members have access to calm, relaxing, centering and healing. Where people can stretch out their pain, lower their blood pressure, increase their immunity and find peace all without a pill or a costly doctors appointment. Imagine that instead of having another drink, yelling at our children, hitting our spouses, shooting off guns or flipping off our neighbors people have the option of choosing something positive. What if instead of being hateful, we choose to be full of love. What if we choose to unknot our necks with movement rather than chemicals and we pick peaceful activities instead of hateful ones. Wouldn’t it be crazy if we taught each other to be positive rather than negative? To love ourselves as well as each other?

Yoga is my gift, but we all have gifts. Give something away today. It can be a kind word, a cup of coffee, a flower or your time. Bask in the warm feeling in your heart, the smile that lights up someone’s face and the knowledge that you can create change.

A little extra inspiration this morning….May I Suggest.


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