Generosity Update

Dear Friends,It’s been over two years since you all so generously donated to my campaign to get certified to teach yoga. Well, I thought you might like an update on what I’ve been doing with your money. Even since before my training was completed, I’ve been teaching weekly classes at the First Congregational Church of Essex Junction. These classes (approximately 183 at last count) are offered free to anyone who would like to attend (donations are accepted, but go directly to the church). Over that time, I’ve had approximately 40 different people take the class, with a core returning group of about ten students, many of whom had never been to a yoga class before! In addition to being able to offer classes to this group, I’ve also been able to raise about $2000 in donations from my students, all of which supports the operations of the church.

This last summer, I was invited by the local juvenile detention center to teach yoga to the kids in residence. I’ve been volunteering at classes there once a week since mid-summer. It has been a very challenging learning experience for me; teaching yoga in that context has a very different feeling to it, one that I had to learn to adapt to, but it didn’t take me too long to find my way. That challenge helped me to think more about what yoga is, and why it is important for me. In addition to the benefits of some system-based movement, I feel that these kids are getting a benefit just from having some space during their day where they have lots of choice, and where they can feel my respect and compassion for them. Classes aren’t always easy (for me), but they are always rewarding. In case you’re interested, here’s a recent news piece about the place and the struggles it is having. You can see me (and my dry cracked foot) just before the four minute mark.

I’ve also begun teaching at the studio where I’ve been practicing since I moved to Vermont, Burlington Yoga. This was a bit of a struggle for me, as I feel committed to offering free yoga to students, rather than charging. I’ve reconciled myself with this because it is the way I can continue to train with the owner of the studio, Piper/ Candra Prabha, and because I donate all of the money I make at the studio to a variety of good causes (almost two thousand dollars so far from there).

Looking forward, I hope to have a big announcement soon. The pastor at the church is interested in letting me use some space there for a full time yoga studio! This is incredibly exciting, although there are still many pieces to put into place before this might happen. The financial aspect of it might be very challenging. I hope to continue to be able to offer donation based classes, but the space won’t be free, so we’ll have to figure out a way to make that happen. If any of you have any suggestions or insight on how to make that work, please get in touch. Also, please all of you think positive thoughts about this to help actualize this possibility. (also, also brace yourselves for the real possibility that I may be contacting you in the future for more concrete offers of assistance, either financial or with your expertise.
Until then:
“Plant fruit and nut trees, by the highways, and the byways, and beside the living streams, that there may be more light and life in the planet, and all may have, without buying.”
LnL,

Jonah


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