Happy Sixth Birthday, Journeys In Yoga

Journeys in Yoga turned six yesterday. In typical generous fashion, Suzanne offered a day of free yoga topped off by a champagne toast and birthday cake. I wasn’t able to attend, but would like to offer this post as my birthday “thank you” to Journeys.


Six Gifts Journeys Has Given Me

Flexibility Of course it is not unexpected that a yoga practice will increase flexibility! Journeys has helped me improve my physical flexibility, and time and again has helped my tight hamstrings and other running-related muscles and tendons become more pliable. But it is a flexibility that goes beyond the physical; it is a flexibility that encourages me to stretch my mind and heart in new ways.

Strength The first class I went to at Journeys was a core yoga class. I have written before about how I think core strength is indispensable to runners. At Journeys I became stronger, in my abs and in my confidence.

Peace of Mind I started going to Journeys at a time when I was injured and could not run. My husband had just lost his job and our family faced an uncertain road financially. The injury did not go away magically; the family situation did not repair itself spontaneously. But Journeys gave me a place to take a respite from all of that, one savasana at a time.

Friendship I have made friends at Journeys who broaden my life and support me. By sharing yoga time with people I know from other areas of my life, friendships have been deepened and extended. I needed this.

Focus Staring at a driste trying to balance does help us (usually) keep from tumbling over during a yoga session, but learning to look ahead at a steady point is a lesson I needed to learn (still need to learn) for reaching my goals in life. Journeys gave me a place to internalize this.

Abundance Abundance is Journeys’s theme of the month for March. It is fitting. Journeys has helped remind me of the abundance surrounding me, the tangible and non-tangible. In involving me in helping to publicize various donation yoga campaigns (such as One Million Bones and the Human Trafficking Prevention efforts), Journeys helped me feel that I had something to give, no matter my yoga abilities.

Lastly, Journeys is my “yoga home” — although I am early on in my yoga journey, I have had the opportunity to do yoga in several other states, to do yoga outdoors, to do yoga in front of a computer screen. No matter where I am, I am reminded that yoga shouldn’t hurt, that I should feel comfortable speaking up about what I need, that I should know deep inside that yoga is for everyone. These are all principles that Journeys has taught me.

I do not know if “gratitude” will end up being one of Journeys’s 2013 “Transformation Themes,” but whether it is on a list as a monthly theme or not, it is something I feel for this place every day of every year.

compressed namaste


Add Your Bone To The Million

There’s no better way to learn about something you only superficially understand than to volunteer to write about it! I had seen my friend Jane McPherson’s Facebook postings about the “One Million Bones Project” many times, enough to know that it was about genocide and that it involved literally making “bones.” Beyond that, I didn’t fully understand if it was about raising awareness, fundraising, taking action on an issue of international significance, or a combination of the three.

Fortunately, two representatives of Florida State University’s branch of the “One Million Bones Project” came to Journeys in Yoga today to participate in the Journeys donation class that benefits the project. They covered in five minutes what I had failed to understand over the past five months. A visit to the One Million Bones website answered my other questions.

The Million Bones Project is about genocide. It is a “collaborative art installation designed to recognize the millions of victims and survivors who have been killed or displaced by ongoing genocides and humanitarian crises in Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma.”*

In addition to raising awareness, there is a fundraising component. In conjunction with “Students Rebuild,” every bone made as part of this collaboration will result in generating $1 toward the work of CARE in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This awareness-building and fundraising has a physical manifestation in the “bones” that are made by participants all over the nation

Here in Tallahassee, the local project has already created over 10,000 bones and therefore raised over $10,000.  The installation of 6500 bones in Bloxham Park last April made a strong statement:

Tallahassee’s Bloxham Park Installation April 2012

The local One Million Bones group plans future installations at Florida State University as well as 621 Gallery during this academic year.

Ultimately, the national goal is to cover the National Mall in Washington, D.C., with one million handmade bones in 2013.

A Preview Installation in Albuquerque, NM

You may be asking, “why go to all the trouble to shape some clay or plaster into a hipbone or rib (or other bone) replica?” I don’t know about you, but I learn better and am more invested in things I have seen and touched than things I have only heard. If that’s true for me as an adult, I can only imagine that it is even more true for a child or young person.

Students at Tallahassee’s Palmer-Munroe Teen Center make bones for the One Million Bones project.

I am happy to share the news that Journeys in Yoga is donating 100% of the proceeds from its Sunday noon donation classes through the end of October to this project! All levels of yoga are welcomed, and the donation amount is entirely up to you. In addition, Journeys will offer several opportunities in September to make bones before or after a yoga class.

For information about the September 16 bone-making and yoga event at Journeys, click here. (Bone-making is free. Please contact Journeys for class fee information.)

For information about the September 18 bone-making and yoga event at Journeys, click here. (Bone-making is free. Please contact Journeys for class fee information.)

Keep up with the Journeys/One Million Bones partnership schedule via this link.

Follow this sign to do some good for yourself AND for others!

If you have other questions about the One Million Bones project, here are some resources:

The Florida One Million Bones website is http://www.onemillionbones.org/rtwflorida/.

The national One Million Bones website is www.onemillionbones.org.

The website for Students Rebuild, which focuses on engaging young people, is www.studentsrebuild.org.

You can “like” the One Million Bones/Florida Facebook page here.

You can make your own bone at a Tallahassee First Friday! Information on that is here.

If you want to have a bone made in your name or the name of someone you care about, click here. (These bones will be part of the National Mall display. They are biodegradable and will be filled with flower seeds afterwards and planted around the country to symbolize hope and new life.*)

You can learn more about the local One Million Bones principal organizer, Jane McPherson, here.

You can watch a video about the project here:

Thank you, Journeys, for your generosity not only to causes in our town but to the worldwide community!

*Source: www.onemillionbones.org