Tag Archives: (H)EAT

Yoga for a Cause

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.

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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

Yoga mala

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Seacoast Yoga Mala

This morning I participated in the 4th annual Seacoast Yoga Mala.  A Yoga Mala is a 2-3 hour practice of 108 Sun Salutations designed to encourage as many people to participate in a collective ritual by bringing together a variety of yoga styles.  Here is an example of a Sun Salutation.

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The Seacoast Yoga Mala was a fundraiser for (H)EAT heat-eat, and between the fee for the class and donations, it raised   over $11,000 that will go directly back into the local community for meals and heating fuel for needy families.  A very worthy cause!

The Yoga Mala was led by 12 teachers from the various studios throughout the seacoast, from the spiritual to the more athletic styles.  Each teacher lead us in 9 sun salutations from their style (for a total of 108).  Luckily, they also encouraged us to rest whenever we felt the need.

While 3 hours of 108 sun salutations sounded impossible, it really wasn’t.  I don’t know if it was the energy generated by so many yogis in the room, the motivation to do something for those in need, or the variety of the practice due to the many styles but I was able to get through the class with a minimal amount of resting.  It was a great experience and I look forward to participating again next year.