Wednesday, May 29, 2013

State of the Yoga



State of the Yoga
our annual address

As Land Yoga heads into its third year of business I wanted to take some time to look back at year two, note what we accomplished and share where we are headed.

Our first year was such a whirlwind, saying yes to every opportunity and working hard to teach each and every student, so many of whom were real beginners.  This year we have watched our students blossom into truly dedicated practitioners and take their yoga commitment to the next level through daily practice, attending Ashtanga Yoga Institute director Sharath's world tour, and by coming to workshops armed with fantastic questions that truly show their growth.

Don't Fear!  Plenty of Beginners still join us each week.  In fact, we expanded our offerings for newbies adding Beginner Level classes on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:45pm to our already scheduled Saturday 12:30pm Beginner Level and Mysore classes which are always for all levels!

We continue our steadfast commitment to the neighborhood with programs like our free yoga in Morningside Park at 11am every second Saturday summer through fall which runs in conjunction with their Saturday market, volunteer classes with the Seniors at the local Food Bank, and by donation classes at Columbia University Law School and at the Ralph Lauren Cancer Center.  Starting July 10th we will be offering a six week free yoga program Wednesday evenings at the Dream Center for teens and adults.  This is in addition to our site sponsorship of Daisy troop #3174 and numerous donations to schools and non-profits in the area including Marcus Samuelson and Maya Haile's incredible Three Goats.

An immense amount of focus continues to go out to our new and expectant moms.  Our prenatal yoga instructor, Clare Friedrich has built an incredible following in her weekly class which has allowed us to launch our Monday post natal program with the amazing Donna Takeuchi and now we have special workshops like our Partner Prenatal Yoga and Massage thanks to the addition of masseuse Ann Claire Barber to our wellness team.  We also added Health Coaching by Amy Height and acupuncture by Halit Raises as well as expanding Seven Brown's ever popular Harlem Skin Clinic into our second room.  How exciting!  Land Yoga is a one stop shop for wellness.  We hope you will enjoy all our offerings.

We taught at PS180, The Children's Storefront, the Weekday school in the Riverside Church and our sister company Chloe the Yogi was chosen to design and lead the yoga component at camp Asphalt Green,  a major partnership.  We sponsored Harlem Park to Park Earth Day which included three panel discussions, a health and wellness day in Morningside Park and a Global Earth Day in Marcus Garvey Park.  We took one week rest after pulling this off only to begin the planning for putting into action the ideas that came out of those discussions, most excitingly matching community gardens with our restaurants so your food will be bought local!

I was most touched by the commitment of student Allison Lafferty who joined me on a trip of a lifetime to study yoga in India.  It was a teacher who took me on my first journey there and now 7 years later I was able to complete the cycle.  India was new to me as I observed it through her eyes.  I'm anticipating an even larger group joining me this January as I make trip number eight!  Get your passports ready!

I am so proud of our team.  All our teachers are committed to continuing their education and everyone from our work study participants, to our interns, our teachers and our wellness practitioners consistently give extra time, resources, ideas and care to Land Yoga.  Their commitment and that of the students has elevated our shala to a level I never could have imagined.  I am grateful.

We need you.  Moving forward we ask for your continued support.  Keep showing up.  Bringing friends.  Sending your testimonials.  It's your energy and commitment to the practice and to the space that keeps our motivation rising and our vision expanding.  We are doing a lot, but there is much to do!

Hope to see all of you on July 20th for the anniversary party!

Om~
Lara