Yesterday I participated in the annual Seacoast Yoga Mala. It was my second time participating, and again I found the experience very rewarding — physically and emotionally.
Yoga instructors from different studios all over the area led the 170 participants in 108 sun salutations. Each instructor led 9 salutations in their particular style. It was interesting to experience other styles of yoga. Some were slow and repetitive while others were more athletic and offered more diversity. (Personally I liked these better). But all the styles were focused on breathing, listening to our bodies, and going at our own pace. We were encouraged to modify the poses and/or rest as we needed to.
The Yoga Mala was more than a 3 hour yoga practice. It was primarily a fund-raiser. We raised over $18,000 for two local charities, (H)EAT and Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP program.
(H)EAT is a local charity that provides food and money for heat to local residents in need. Sadly, many of our poorer neighbors have to choose between keeping fed and keeping warm in the winter.
Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP program is dedicated to enabling needy families to have access to locally grown food. SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is what we refer to as food stamps. This aid is now distributed entirely through electronic debit cards, rather than paper vouchers. Unforgettably the local vendors at area farmer’s markets haven’t had the ability to accept this electronic form of payment. Seacoast Eat Local’s program provides farmers the ability to accept these SNAP debit card payments, and therefore allowing needy families to buy farm fresh food. As you know I am all for local, organic food and so I find this a very worthy cause.
Participating in the Yoga Mala enhanced my sense of belonging to the local yoga community as well as the Seacoast community at large.
All photos courtesy of 3 Bridges Yoga