Yogis Helping Yogis

 

These are unprecedented times, that can bring stress or a sense of disconnect; we need each other more than ever.
It makes a world of difference to know someone is there for you, or to know that you can make someone else’s day a whole lot brighter.
Inspired my members of our community we are starting Yogis Helping Yogis – a system where people can contribute funds to help pay for another student’s membership, or to ask for support. If you have lost your job, or are in need, please let us as a community help.
Simply fill out the form by clicking here and we will be in touch soon! It can all be anonymous, or you can be connected with the person you’re matched with <3

 

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This all was inspired by some of our incredible students!

Liam Brooks realized he was in a position to pay it forward, and wanted to give make a difference for a fellow Yoga Tree member. So he offered to pay for an extra monthly membership!

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“I’d like to see Yoga Tree maintain its unique role in the community through whatever the future holds. This contribution not only helps to actualize that hope but also provides access to an amazing resource in the face of adversity.”
When not at Yoga Tree, Liam is either looking at maps, climbing with his fellow YT member Denis, or cranking some music over a home cooked meal!
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Will Shriver has been a long time Yoga Tree members, upon losing his job due to the pandemic, he paused his membership.
With Liam’s generosity, he has been able to continue his practice.
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“This membership has meant so much… this time of isolation has provided me with time to do some deep self-discovery and healing. Being able to practice Yoga, even scrunched up in my tiny room, has been very helpful and something I am very thankful for. Thank you again Liam!”
Outside of yoga, Will DJs and makes music, loves his dog Mixer, is working hard to help create social change with his Aunt DeSales, and has recently found a love of cooking!
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To volunteer to help another student, or to ask for a little help yourself, fill out the form here!

Sherry Smeal – Ride for the Feast

 

During the first weekend in May, Sherry Smeal and her husband Stephen took part in Baltimore’s annual Ride for the Feast to raise money for Moveable Feast.
This year, due to Covid-19, the race took place virtually. So, Sherry and Stephen set up their stationary bikes in the backyard, made a backdrop, and live streamed the whole thing online! Over the course of six hours, they did 100 stationary miles!
Sherry gives credit to her yoga practice for being able to complete (and recover from!) a challenge like this.

 

She says,

“As in years past, doing 26+2 yoga consistently leading

up to a long ride makes riding so much easier because I feel

stronger, more flexible, and just better prepared in general.”

 

Impressed yet? Because it gets better.

Sherry and Stephen raised $5,439 for Moveable Feast!

We are so amazed by them both, and so proud to have Sherry as part of the Yoga Tree community!
If you’d like to contribute to their fundraising click here!

Student Spotlight – Margareta Horiba

Dearest Yoga Tree Community,
For many of us, each season has a significant meaning or a lasting memory. Spring has a bubbling up of energy that can evoke the beginning of something promising or the end of something which has been endured. For me Spring is the end of the school year, the opening of our Yoga Studio (it’s our 15th Anniversary today!) and Jazz Fest in one of my favorite cities in the world: New Orleans!
“It feels like it’s not only back, but it’s stronger than before.
Once you lose something, or are about to lose something,
you see how valuable it is. You protect it even more. People
appreciate it even more.”

-Conversation between actor, Wendell Pierce, and television writer, Phil Rosenthal, on the subject of New Orleans post Katrina.

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This time last year we traveled to New Orleans as a family and today we were (re-)watching a food & travel show called Somebody feed Phil (yes, you should watch it!) in New Orleans. We ate our way through the city and vowed to return soon and often. I’m lucky to have been there –a lot, but not often since Hurricane Katrina.
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Today’s student spotlight, Margareta Horiba, moved to Baltimore from New Orleans 14 and a half years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. When I interviewed her last Fall I didn’t know when I would share her story. But it seems fitting for it to be today.
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How long have you been practicing at Yoga Tree?
Over 14 years.
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When not at Yoga Tree, what can we find you doing?
I take watercolor classes, read, take care of grandchildren, pick them up from school. My life is easy and enjoyable.
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Favorite yoga pose/move and why?
Standing Bow Pose. I love the challenge. When I can balance it has such a good feeling. Camel and rabbit are wonderful for my back. Separate Leg stretching Pose; it is almost a restful for me.
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What was your life like before you started coming to Yoga Tree? How did you feel in your body and your nervous system?
I wish I started yoga earlier. I did yoga in New Orleans before moving to Hampden. I was 63 when we moved here in quite a hurry due to Hurricane Katrina. (side note: Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Margareta took her first class at Yoga Tree, We had been open for about 5 months). We were lucky that we didn’t have any personal danger or loss. We were safe and free to start again. My daughter lived here in Hampden and we took each day as it came. With my consistent yoga practice, I had the mental capacity to deal with it.
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What has changed since you started practicing regularly at Yoga Tree?
I have more confidence in myself. I feel stronger in my legs and my back. I don’t have the stamina I had when I was younger. But muscularly, I am feeling stronger than ever before. I feel very good about myself that way. I feel confident and happy to be among young people.
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Last week when I emailed Margareta to thank her for her ongoing support she responded:
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“Dear, dear Sarah, You have been part of my life from one
calamity to another. I need you more than ever.
And your struggle just about breaks my heart.
I pray help is coming soon to you and many others in your situation. –What is taking them so long??
Every other day around 4 pm I set up my iPad and lay out my mat by the large window facing west toward the Roland tower.
When the sun is too strong I lower the blinds. I turn on a space heater and turn to you or Henri for a restorative hour…
Love, Margareta”
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So many of you have supported us this month, this year, and these many years. I want you to know that I am inspired by you. I am SO DETERMINED!
When I feel your support, I see it in your actions, your words and your caring gestures.
I see how valuable Yoga Tree is, to each of you. The vulnerability of almost losing it makes me even more determined to protect Yoga Tree!
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I know on this 15th Anniversary this Spring will bring new growth and make us stronger than ever before.
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I miss you all and I love you all,
Sarah