Monday, March 21, 2011

the Kula Project spotlights Japan this Sunday, March 27

Last Wednesday evening’s Level 1&2 class finished on high yet humbling note for me, held in my memory with two distinct moments. With the help of two lovely classmates, I did a supported handstand in which I felt powerful and free. As someone who used to preface this task with “I can’t,” it was particularly wonderful to fly upside down with my friends. Later, as we bowed to our hearts and each other to close the class, our teacher Amy Reed asked that we send cooling thoughts to the nuclear reactor in Japan, which is still on the verge as I write this on Sunday afternoon. I imagined a snowy wind wrapping its way across the Pacific Ocean, and hoped that the chill I felt was universal.

There are many ways to deal with what is out of our immediate control. To release energy, I run. To harness it, I do yoga. What do we do when the world feels crazy, when the energy of the universe feels out of alignment? On Wednesday evening, I found focusing on my schoolwork impossible. Instead of being frustrated with my tendency to procrastinate, I allowed myself to sit with the big shifts, both social and geological, that are happening around the world. Having the time and space to ruminate was a privilege that led me away from an “I can’t” attitude about the global upheavals.

I see my yoga practice as self-care, and as a point of entry into a compassionate community. We have access to this practice, to each other, and to resources. Let’s harness our power as a community to collect and direct our energy to what seems beyond our reach individually, and send funds toward the relief efforts in Japan.

In that spirit, the Kula Project will be offering a community class this coming Sunday, March 27. From 4-5:15 come practice together with the big picture in heart and mind! We are asking for a $10 donation at the door. This month’s donation will benefit Peace Winds Japan ( All are invited to attend a discussion following the class to explore ways to work as a group, unite our yoga practices with potential for social justice and activism, and to expand the Kula Project beyond our yoga mats.

If you are unable to join us on Sunday afternoon, please consider leaving a donation for the Kula Project, at Yoga Sanctuary. Checks should be made out to “Peace Winds America.”
Read more about the Kula Project at

Written by E. Grace Johnston

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