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 I’m the Coordinator for this year’s event and guess what kids?

It’s time to get yer GLOBAL MALA ON!

 

Photo Courtesy of http://www.taramandala.org

Global Mala is an international event held every year. Yogis from all around the world come together to practice, support each other as a community and raise awareness and awake-ness.

Founded by Shiva Rea in 2007 and now in partnership with Yoga Month and Yoga for Peace, the Global Mala Yoga for Peace is a seed of a world-wide experiment into the power of meditation in action. This event is offered in conjunction with worldwide celebrations of the Global Mala project in over 50 countries, uniting the global yoga community from every continent, school of practice, and approach to form a “mala around the earth”.

For Global Mala Savannah, we also raise money for a local cause. Each year we pick a cause to partner with and all the proceeds of the event go to supporting the needs of that cause. My hope as Global Mala Savannah Coordinator this year is to extend this event to not only the yoga community but to the burgeoning mindful community of Savannah. Those who are living, working and practicing mindfulness in all its forms.

The theme of this year’s Global Mala event is Nourish Savannah and our Recipient is the local chapter of Backpack Buddies– grassroots effort to feed school aged children who might otherwise go hungry. During the school day, most children in need are provided meals through government programs, but when Friday rolls around, many children are faced with a weekend of wondering if they will have enough to eat. BackPack Buddies organizes and mobilizes churches, temples, companies and organizations to prepare backpacks of food for students to take home for the weekend, ensuring they will be nourished even when they are not in school.

Norman and Julie Hirsch

Spearheaded by Norman and Julie Hirsch of Congregation Mickve Israel,  Backpack Buddies Savannah has enlisted congregations who are help to feed children in need. Each congregation is partnered with a school and puts together weekend food packs that they deliver to the school. Teachers and staff at the schools assemble the bags of food into the backpacks that have been provided by BackPack Buddies and distribute to the children in the program to take home for the weekend.

The event is open to experienced yogis, novices and those who don’t know a down dog from a dirty dog! There will be a vigorous practice followed by a gentle practice (you can do one or both!) as well as a kids practice. There will be a silent auction and raffle of amazing donations from the yoga and mindful community and the Savannah Food Co-Op will be there selling great local and organic goods.

This year the registration is a $25 suggested donation for adults and $5 for kids. And when I say, suggested… I mean suggested! If you have more to give, please do. If not, donate what you can and join us for the event. Your donation is valued and so is your presence.

Please join us for this event to nourish the community and nourish yourself in the process. You can register or donate to the event at the Yoga Co-Op, Savannah Yoga Center, the Yoga Room, Savannah Power Yoga and Bikram. Visit the Global Mala Savannah Blogto keep updated on the event, see what great donations are coming in and support our growing mindful community. And please spread the word- at the water cooler, on your Websites, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, smoke signals, etc.

Until I see you on the mat… Live. Breathe. Be.

Pass Me On To Your Friends!

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Savannah’s loss is Asheville’s gain. Former SAV resident and lovely friend of mine, Jessica Hedrick, is now based in Asheville, NC and has opened White Sage, a space of the healing arts of Massage Therapy, Reiki and Yoga.

Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher & Reiki Master, Jessica Hedrick

I first met Jessica at the Savannah Yoga Center as I trained her as a volunteer there and as a regular student in my classes. It was evident through her practice she had experience with movement and still she was open and inquisitive to the tools of yoga in both the similarities to dance and the differences.

Jessica’s mindfulness, dedication and compassion came through not only on the mat or through her work as a reiki master, but in her everyday actions, words and energy. Now as a certified Yoga teacher, Massage Therapist and Reiki master, Jessica offers a wide array of tools for students and clients to step into their own healing.

I can’t say enough great things about Jessica. She is a talented and wonderful person. So if you’re in Asheville, get yourself over to White Sage to spend some time with Jessica and step deeper into your own awakening.

Beginning Monday, September 12th, 10am, Kate Jacobson will be teaching a Restorative Yoga Class at the Yoga Co-Op. Woo hoo!  I feel strongly about adding more Gentle, Restorative and simply slower more mindful classes to the yoga options in Savannah. Don’t get me wrong, I love a vigorous class and flow can absolutely be a mindful practice. Those of you who take some of my flow classes can attest that they are quite challenging both physically and mentally. However, without balancing mindfulness and breath with asana, then it’s really just Jazzercise, now isn’t it? So slowing things down can be essential for most people in this hectic day and age. Most of us can relate to stressed out minds and bodies. Some of us are healing from injury or just need some extra TLC and that’s when a Restorative Class can really make a difference.

Kate describes her class like so:  “This Restorative Class will emphasis reducing the effects of stress. It is especially beneficial for times before, during and after major life events such as the death of a loved one, change of job or residence, marriage, divorce, etc. This restorative practice is helpful to counter the effects of a busy, fast-paced lifestyle.”

So I know that there aren’t a ton of Gentle or Restorative Classes compared to the intense flow yoga that’s out there but now you have one more opportunity to practice taking care of yourself. Join Kate Mondays 10am at the Yoga Co-Op starting September 12th. Make time for it. You are worth it.

Ok, all you Yoga Nidra fans, it’s time to get your deep yogic sleep ON! While the lovely Stephanie Moon is out on maternity leave, I’ll be teaching a Yoga Nidra class at the Yoga Co-Op. Class meets Mondays 5:30-6:45pm. We will be upstairs in the loft, so space is limited. Please register online to secure your spot and arrive early because class starts promptly at 5:30pm.

For those who new to Yoga Nidra, it’s deep yogic sleep. Through a guided practice, students access a deeper state of awareness while in a conscious state of sleep. Brain waves slow down, beyond relaxation, beyond conscious meditative states, the practice of yoga nidra allows the body and mind to sleep while a deeper state of consciousness is revealed.

Photo Copyright 2011 Courtesy of Scandinavian Yoga and Meditation School

So what are the benefits? The body and mind are restored simply from the rest they are given and access to the deeper states of awareness can allow energetic and emotional blocks to be softened. On a metaphysical note, with regular practice yoga nidra can be another powerful resource in our spiritual awakening.

I have been practicing Yoga Nidra regularly since 2008. While I felt I was experiencing something truly remarkable, the first 30 times I did Yoga Nidra, I fell asleep each time.  With practice and my basic physical and psychological rest being restored, I began remaining aware for a little longer and eventually, I began experiencing very powerful states of awareness and presence.

Like most things, you just gotta come and practice for yourself- direct experience. Bring your mat if you have one, comfy clothes (we’ll be doing some gentle stretches to prepare the body for yoga nidra- nothing wild) and if you have your own eye pillow that you love, bring that too. Don’t worry, we have mats, props and eye pillows if you don’t have your own.

See you on the mat.

Last minute subbing! Come join me tonight (Thursday Aug. 4th) at the Savannah Yoga Center for a Super Gentle class that I am subbing. Class starts at 6pm. Get there a little early to check in without rushing around. Now, you can also reserve your place and/or pay for class online.

Come on down and do something nice for yourself for dealing with all this heat!

See you on the mat!

Dawn Smith

Fun musings. Cool info.
Yoga on and off the mat.

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