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4th Anniversary Celebration In The Works

by Sandy Scherer

There are a great many things I love about the idea of community, and the blue lotus community in particular. Throughout the past four years, blue lotus has become a yoga home for so many — from those new to the practice to those who have been long on the journey. Like a great community, blue lotus is not only a place of support, inspiration and nourishment for those who practice at the studio, but it also is a source of the same for those the community touches.

With that in mind, each February we celebrate the blue lotus community with a weekend of by-donation classes to support an organization in need. We are excited to announce that this February 4-6, our fourth “blueversary” fundraising efforts will support CORRAL Riding Academy.

CORRAL is a wonderful non-profit organization in Wake County that offers at-risk girls a chance to change their lives. The program gives troubled girls one-on-one mentoring, weekly tutoring, Equine Assisted Learning, Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and riding lessons, as well as responsibilities in the barn and caring for the horses, most of whom are rescues themselves. All of this provides the girls with the tools necessary to overcome the challenges they face. CORRAL engages the students in these activities over the long-term — to create lasting healing and to offer a preventative diversion to the risky behaviors the girls would otherwise be tempted with or prone to explore in their homes, schools or neighborhoods.

Our goal is to raise $5,000, which will sponsor one girl for a year.

In the coming weeks, you’ll start to see more about CORRAL in the studio, in the newsletter, and on Facebook. There will be opportunities to donate online, in the studio and at by-donation classes February 4-6 (to be posted by mid-January in the online schedule). CORRAL also has a volunteer page for those who would like to help in other ways, and we’re also working with CORRAL to introduce and offer yoga classes to the girls in program.

We are always overwhelmed and overjoyed at the response of our blue friends and family, and are truly looking forward to coming together to support CORRAL. If you have questions, ideas or comments, email us your thoughts.

Blessings,

Sandy


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Namaste!

We are certainly bringing 2010 to a close with flair! Thanks to everyone who is part of blue lotus- instructors, assistants, peeps, students- you all play a vital role in sustaining and growing the amazing Raleigh yoga community.

December highlights:

Habitat for Humanity build day…yes, it was a week before Christmas and FREEZING, but the blue crew showed up full force for a day of selfless service. See photos of all the work/fun!

Yoga Mala celebrating the Winter Solstice…it really was the most fun mala I can remember. Thanks to everyone who came to salute, sweat, surrender and even sing! Check out the playlist.

In case you’ve ever wondered what we all do when we’re not at the studio, take a look at the album from our blue family holiday gathering. Humble Pie provided the venue and everyone who attended provided great company, conversation and laughter!

And finally for the year, if you don’t have plans for New Year’s Eve and are tired of the same old thing…join us Friday night for Midnight Yoga from 10pm-midnight. Ring in 2011 with joy!

Thanks for being a part of it all…

Blessings,

Jill


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Gratitude – Habitat Build, December 2010

Just a quick note to say thank you friends. Thank you for carving out a large part of your day on Saturday to not just build a home. But to continue to build the foundation of service at the Blue. To Jill, myself and many others at the studio, this piece, Seva, is just as important at the asana, the pranayama, the meditation and the mantra. With your help we brought together the pieces of Yoga and hopefully inspired others to do the same.

Om Shanti,
Carrington


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White Friday Playlist

 

Thanks for all who came out to make a great post holiday flow! Here is the playlist from White Flow on Friday, Nov. 26. If you were there, thanks so much for all the sing-a-long and walk down memory lane. If you missed it, feel free to browse it and have your own memory walk….mmmmm mmmmm good!
~ Yvonne


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Kids Yoga At Blue Lotus


by Jen Davis

The first kids yoga series at Blue Lotus has come and gone. We had a great group of kids and I am grateful for the positive energy they brought to the space each week. Working with kids is like working with soft clay before it has begun to get hard and difficult to shape into anything other than what it is pokies voyeur gallery at that moment. There was such a willingness to hear and try new things without judgement of themselves or others. I loved seeing them experience new poses, learn about the power of the their breath and develop new friendships with each other.

Yesterday was the first Tuesday in 11 weeks we did not have class and I missed seeing their smiling faces!
Many thanks for the opportunity!
Jen


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Friday’s Playlist

Hi Friends,
Wanted to pass along my latest class on Nov. 12th. Hope you enjoy.
Peace and Om,
Carrington


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Retreat To The Mountains

A few weeks ago, seventeen of us packed into our cars and headed west. Although it was just a few hours’ drive from Raleigh, it felt like worlds away from the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life.

We drove out to the Prama Institute, located in Marshall, NC, about twenty minutes north of Asheville. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s nestled among 150 acres of rolling hills and forest lands strewn with hiking trails, with the French Broad River just five minutes away. Its scenic and peaceful surroundings created the perfect place for us to recharge body, mind and spirit.

Julee and I led yoga practices and meditation sessions, we enjoyed AMAZING(!) food, and the rest of our time was spent lazing in the sun, telling stories by the fire, and exploring the forests and river nearby. You won’t want to miss this next time! Our photo album features the brave explorers who followed me down a steep ravine and into the river, but you’ll see that fun was had by all.

It was such a great weekend, in fact, that we’ve already booked two weekends for 2011! Mark your calendar for next year’s mountain getaways: June 3-5 or October 14-16, 2011.


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Opportunity For Service!

Labor Day is generally a day of rest; a day off from the usual grind, and a chance to relax and enjoy what is usually a workday. Everybody looks forward to a day off, right? But even knowing this, I had no doubt when I got a call from Regina at the Wake County Women’s Shelter that she really wanted to have their reception area painted ASAP that I’d have no problem finding enough willing hands to get the project done.

I sent out the all-call, and sure enough, about a dozen enthusiastic “Yes!” responses came back. The folks at the shelter were thrilled, and in a few short hours, we transformed the entire reception area, hall and bathrooms to look like new. What a great way to spend the day. Take a look!

Side note to the project at the shelter: Our fall fundraising “Global Mala” weekend, where we offered a whole day of classes-by-donation brought in over $1000 for the shelter. Thanks to all who taught, attended and donated!

*****

Our next service project is coming up on Saturday, November 13. We’ll be participating in the DRA’s effort to clean up Moore Square Park. Volunteers are needed to pick up litter, sweep sidewalks, help put together new site furnishings, add mulch, plant shrubs and trees, install pavers, and other repairs.

Join us in taking care of one of downtown Raleigh’s precious few green spaces! Blue volunteers will meet at Morning Times (10 E. Hargett Street) at 8am. We’d love for you to join us– just sign up on our Web Scheduler so we know you’re coming.


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Yoga Mala!

Four times each year we set up four rows of mats, crank up the stereo and count 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar A to mark the change of seasons. It’s an odd practice, I suppose, but it has become a tradition. And it’s my feeling that tradition is a good thing; rituals infuse meaning into the motions of everyday life.

Our Summer Solstice mala was a packed and sweaty celebration! Whether you were there for the fun or not, you might enjoy the playlist.

Peace!


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Service

Service in the form of dana (generosity; the practice of giving) is nothing new to our community. This year we raised $6500 for MercyCorps efforts in Haiti. The year before we collected over $5000 for Nepal House. The list of organizations that we have supported since opening in 2007 is long: Raleigh Jaycees, Prevent Child Abuse NC, Interact, Save Darfur Coalition, just to name a few. And rallying this generous community to put some money where their hearts are is something we feel very good about, and we will continue to share opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways. This practice opens our hearts further, and as we enter into the natural cycle of giving and receiving, we have a heightened experience of gratitude in our own lives.

So we are very excited to bring another element of Seva (selfless service for the betterment of another) or Karma Yoga (the Yoga of action) into our blue lotus yoga community, as it is an integral part of what we believe in. In the words of Albert Einstein: “I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

If you follow the newsletter each month, or hang out in the studio or on our participated in our “blue crew for the cure” or our first fence building project with Coalition to Unchain Dogs (see photos!). And these projects, events and activities will continue!

We offer a big thanks to Carrington for spearheading this summer’s project at the studio, as well as huge kudos to all of our instructors who make giving a regular part of their practice…just a few inspiring examples: Julie has given over 1,000 hours of service to Rex Hospital as a specially trained volunteer, screening newborns for hearing loss for over 13 years. Alison volunteers weekly at Healing Place men’s facility for substance abuse. Sandy has offered countless hours on the boards of Ten Thousand Villages and Rebuilding Together (not to mention at blue lotus!) and she offers a free weekly Chair Yoga for the YWCA at the Raleigh Safety Club. Yvonne and Suzanne give their time sharing Gentle Yoga at the Cancer Center. Julee volunteers at Open Door Clinic and the Tammy Lynn Foundation. Our teacher trainees volunteer time to offer free classes to folks at blue lotus as well as Wrenn House, Haven House, and with various special populations like kids with Autism and at-risk youth.

How you choose to serve is a matter of listening to your heart’s calling. And so we ask: Are you listening, and how are you answering the call?


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