Have you ever felt a very strong pull to do something? A calling deep down somewhere inside that is almost like a whisper? I certainly have heard such whispers and a few times now, have listened and been called into action.
In 1997, I travelled to East Africa for a few months as a volunteer to teach about HIV and AIDS, attempting to dispel some of the myths around its transmission and the stigma attached to the disease. I honestly don’t know if my time there made even the slightest difference but that’s okay.
Then in 2009, I felt a very strong pull to enroll in Moksha Yoga’s teacher training in Kerala India. I had been to India in 1998 after completing my volunteering in Kenya. Some of the 33 countries I have travelled to call me back, and India was one of them. I had fallen in love with yoga and what is was doing for my body, as well as my mind and spirit. I wanted more and to be able to share with others through teaching yoga. That decision was one of the most pivotal I’ve ever made. My life has changed and grown in ways unimaginable at the time. My passion for teaching just keeps growing!
Last October, the whisper returned but this time as almost a shout. I awoke from a dream of witnessing someone drowning in icy water beneath thick snow. Somehow I knew that I had the answer to how they could get out! By the end of that day, I had contacted anyone I could find related to the Syrian Refugee crisis and knew I was on the right path. The CVIMS (Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society) responded and connected me to someone else in town who had just reached out to them. It turns out she was a former colleague and we immediately connected to start forming our sponsorship group (ORG Nanaimo: Our Response group.) This group now has 6 other extremely committed, caring and generous people I am proud to call my friends.
Many folks have already generously donated money, time, and household items to our family of 6 arriving within weeks. One of the biggest donations so far is from Kristen Butler and Moksha Yoga Nanaimo. Moksha has always had a strong value of supporting those in need through their Karma Yoga program and also the New Leaf Foundation bringing yoga to inmates. Each month, studios around the world hold Karma classes which collect donations for a chosen charity. This also allows students who may not normally be able to afford the regular price of a hot yoga class as the minimum donation is usually around $7-10.
Well, much to my delight and gratitude, Moksha Yoga Nanaimo is donating all of their February Karma funds to our sponsorship group. My heart is bursting!!
Please join us for one of the many Karma classes in February. I’ll be teaching 2 extra special classes with the talented Nico Rhodes who will be sharing his love for music during class (February 6 and 13.)