Pottstown’s High Street Yoga; Room to Stretch, Quiet to Reflect

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yoga for the Cure; An evening of pink in Pottstown

In May I attended a Yoga event on the steps of the art museum in Philadelphia. The event was a fundraiser for Living beyond Breast Cancer. It was a powerful event with over 1,000 yoga enthusiasts participating. The event moved me and I felt inspired to do something similar. Still feeling the energy from the event, I received an e-mail form Kathi, a yoga student asking if I would consider doing a yoga event as a fundraiser for her participation in the 3 day walk for the cure. Each participant is required to fund raise over $2,000. I was thrilled and of course more then happy to be involved.

This is the 2nd year that Kathi will walk in the event and her passion and enthusiasm is contagious! Her gift for organizing and her connections within the community turned the evening into something very special.

The Yoga for the Cure Event was held in the fellowship hall of the First Presbyterian Church of Pottstown. The large open space, with a stage, full kitchen and high tech sound system was the perfect space to house a large group of yogis. The hall was decorated with inspiring quotes from the 3 day walk about strength and survival, pink breast cancer cards, beads, flowers and candles.

At the registration table participants received one free ticket for attending and one additional ticket for wearing pink. Extra tickets were available for purchase to win amazing door prizes donated by members of the community.

In a sea of pink, first time yogis, mixed in with experienced yogis joined together to support Kathi and her journey. The evening began with Kathi sharing her story about last year and her first 3 day walk. The weather in Philadelphia was so bad that the first two days, walkers walked inside the KOP mall.

After introductions, the yoga class began and was dedicated to all of the women affected by breast cancer. The gentle class was accompanied by live harp music. Betsy Chapman, local harpist volunteered her time and talents to make the evening a very special and relaxing night.

After stretching and relaxing participants were treated to iced coffee, punch, pink ribbon sugar cookies, pink Oreo truffles, pink cupcakes, muffins and pink iced brownies and a delicious pink strawberry cake donated by Bause and Landry, catering in Pottstown.

I was honored to be involved with such and amazing event. The support and sisterhood of women joining together for one cause was inspiring. I admire the courage, strength and determination of all of the participants in the 3 day walk, 20 miles for 3 days all to support breast cancer.

Thank you to all of the local business for donating their products and services for the special event. Your generosity added to the night and to the cause.

Ann Lee – for the Belly Dancing ladies night in class annpavlislee@yahoo.com

Avon representative Marjorie Way for the breast cancer bracelet and watch

Barnes & Noble for the Cookbook

Bause Landry Catering for the pink strawberry cake

Christmas Tree Shop

Carrie Grabowicz of Hammi Jammi Jewlery for the custom made pink breast cancer bracelet and matching earrings

Exhale Retreat for a one hour massage

Hildegaurd from A Relaxing Massage Therapy for a 30 minute massage

Lowes for the breast cancer gardening supplies

Monique Marks-Longaberger baskets for the basket, chocolates and coffee gift cert.

Picasso Salon and Day Spa

Salon Twentytwo for the basket of Salon Products

Susan Smith for the custom pink yoga mat bag secretarybird@comcast.net

The grand total raised was $640!!! Look for more details to come for another evening of Yoga for the Cure coming in September.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Symmetry, Determination, Balance

What is it indeed that gives us the feeling of elegance in a solution, in a demonstration? It is the harmony of the diverse parts, their symmetry, their happy balance; in a word it is all that introduces order, all that gives unity, that permits us to see clearly and to comprehend at once both the ensemble and the details.

When the world says, "Give up,"
Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
~Author Unknown

Let the wave of memory, the storm of desire, the fire of emotion pass through without affecting your equanimity.

Sri sathya sai baba

Friday, June 11, 2010

Yoga for the Cure

Help a fellow yogi in her journey with the 3 Day Walk for the Cure. Join us for an evening of Yoga accompanied by live harp music with Betsy Chapman followed by tea, coffee, pink desserts and fun giveaways. All proceeds benefit the 3 day walk for the cure. Suggested donation $20 Wear Pink!

When: Friday June 25th 7-9 pm
Where: 750 North Evans Street, Pottstown, PA 19464
RSVP: Barbara 484-524-5204

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yoga Unites Interview with Jennifer Schelter

Several weeks ago I stumbled on a link to Yoga Unites Living beyond Breast Cancer; a Yoga event in Philadelphia on the steps of the Art Museum. Yogi’s meeting for one cause intrigued me. I posted the link on Facebook and got two brave friends to join me bright and early on a Sunday morning to meet over 1,000 other yoga enthusiasts on the steps of the art gallery, for one cause, one heart and one energy. The event touched me and I posted my reflections immediately after on my blog.

After returning from the event I mulled over and over in my mind how powerful the energy and the experience was for me. I felt strongly about creating a yoga event for a cause in Pottstown but on a smaller scale. I knew I wanted to reach out to Jennifer Schelter, director of Yoga Unites and find out what inspired her to start the first class on the steps of the art museum, how the event evolved and grew and some nuts and bolts questions about organizing and arranging volunteers and time spent preparing for the event.

After Talking to Jennifer it’s easy to see why the event is so successful. Jennifer’s’ belief in the emotional and spiritual component of yoga combined with knowledge of asana and leadership are a perfect combination that’s allowed her to share her passion and help a major fundraising effort for Living beyond Breast Cancer.

The idea of sharing yoga with over 1,000 people came to Jennifer one day when she was in a hard place in her life and practicing yoga on the steps of the art museum. During her practice she felt an overwhelming feeling of positive energy and an affirmation of life. She wondered to herself how it would feel to share the experience with a thousand people. During the same time frame she was enrolled in a course at Landmark Education called “Self-Expression and Leadership Program”. She realized that yoga, her passion and profession, could be used as a way to heal, empower and create community, both as its own non-profit and in partnership with other non-profits.

On Dec. 2, 2001 the first Yoga Unites event was held. Yoga Unites partnered with the Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia. 200 people attended the event and it was a great success.

Two years later a women with breast cancer asked Jennifer to practice yoga at her home. People met together to do yoga and contribute to her health. After healing and surviving the student felt inspired by the healing benefits of yoga and suggested Jennifer take her idea of Yoga Unites to Living beyond Breast Cancer and offer the large scale class on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum as Jennifer had once dreamed.

Living beyond Breast Cancer embraced the idea and promoted the first event with a brochure and flyer. They helped unite the yoga studios in Philadelphia and have a staff that promotes and organizes the event. Rain or Shine for seven years yogis have been meeting to support breast cancer.

Jennifer prepares for the class by planning and being guided by intuition and always dedicates the day to the women she knows with breast cancer. Her initial vision was for 1,000 people. She hit that this year, and in her words “Look what happens when you stick with something….”

I’m planning my first Yoga for the Cure class to be held on Friday June 25th 2010. The class is a fundraiser for a student participating in the 3 day walk for the cure. The evening will begin with gentle Yoga accompanied by live harp music, followed by tea, coffee, pink desserts and giveaways. The evening was inspired by the Yoga Unites event.

The mission of Yoga Unites is

“To inspire individuals and engage communities by nurturing creativity and wellbeing through the transformative power of yoga.”

I’m inspired.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June 2nd one year anniversary of blogging!!!!

A year ago yesterday I posted my first blog!!! WOW! How can that be???? I entered the blogging world a novice and in my own word ‘a dinosaur.’ My technology skills have evolved over the past year, thanks to my 12 year old son. I now text, have an I- pod and can figure out some basics of blogging. I’ve got three blogs and navigate through it all with relative grace.

Re- Reading my first post I set up the blog as another tool to communicate with the current yoga students. Since that time the blog evolved into so much more.

“My intention for the High Street Yoga Blog is to update upcoming events, share my experiences with Yoga and post articles, websites, and videos relating to yoga.”

I’ve learned some things over the past year about technology and some could argue that I ‘sold out’ but I say not. I quickly learned that the blogging world is vast. I started reading blogs from other yoga enthusiasts and connected with other yoga teachers across the United States and Canada. I interviewed other yoga teachers and have been interviewed. Living In a rural area with a very small yoga community, the world of blogging opened me up to my own on line community. Thinking and writing about yoga has become a hobby. It’s helped me deepen my spiritual practice and connect the philosophy of yoga into my daily life.

I finished my first post indicating that I would soon write about the evolution of High Street Yoga, since I’m not a linear thinker that STILL hasn’t happened. Maybe soon.

The word Yoga means union. The Yoga Sutras teach that connectedness removes the veils of separation so we can be in that place where we are one. One World, One Heart. We are all connected; A lesson to be learned even through blogging.