“Give me a few men and women who are pure and selfless, and I shall shake the world.”—Swami Vivekananda
Yoga is taking over the world, seriously. Every month it seems like another studio is opening, offering a “new and improved” way to practice this ancient philosophy. So I thought, why not try to promote a great cause like Free the Slaves with these yogis, whose core philosophy is about positivity and recognizing everyone is connected. The idea of doing something with yoga to raise awareness about slavery was back in the beginning of February, when one my instructors at Corepower Yoga, Brooke McManus, saw me wearing my “Slavery Sucks” t-shirt all the time to class (one, because I have a thing about consistency in my wardrobe and two, because I like seeing the reactions of people reading it). After sending Brooke more information on modern day slavery, Brooke decided to host a free yoga class, asking for donations to support Free the Slaves.
With freedom being the theme of the class on Monday night: Brooke along with Melissa Smith and Jenn Richardson, team-taught the donation class. All three teachers led their individual sequence of Vinyasa flow, all the while promoting awareness and the need for us to open our eyes to suffering.
Mystified by the thought that slavery could happen everywhere and we are just turning our eyes away from it and being ignorant, Jenn told the story of a boy who was born deformed because he was cursed by his father. Because of his deformity people scorned him; no one knew his potential until he started speaking with such wisdom and thoughtfulness. It was only then, that the ones who scorned him and ignored him, turned out to care for him and watch out for him. This was the story of the inversion, Astavakrasana, eight-limb pose.
Huge thanks to Aquilino Soriano for providing live music as we flowed and Brooke McManus, the manager at Corepower Yoga, Mission Valley. Together we raised over $250 in just one class! If you are interested in getting involved, go to FreetheSlaves.net/Action, and together we can see an end to slavery!