Archive for the ‘Spirit’ Category

Grateful and Motivated

It took an elephant to remind me.

Last Friday’s threat to the African elephant snapped me out of my mind-numbing complacency.   There was a planned ruling to reverse a ban on importing elephant ‘trophies’ (and by trophies I mean body parts) from two countries in Africa. The African elephant is classified as ‘vulnerable’ and is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. They are temporarily keeping the ban in place, but no one really knows what that means.

I know what that means: we need to get off our butts and make noise.

THINK GLOBALLY.

Write a congressman.  Write a senator. Contact a wildlife organization, such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  This organization works to protect and preserve the African Wilderness and its inhabitants, particularly endangered species such as elephants.  Do something to be heard for the herd.

So, I did. But then I thought, now what? How do we continue to make a difference, especially as we head into the holiday season? And then it hit me.

ACT LOCALLY.

It sounds so…trite, as you’ve probably heard it so many times it doesn’t even register.  We can all look at the big picture and easily get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the world’s problems.But we have no excuse for not helping out in our own backyards.  Please don’t brush it off and think ‘anything I do won’t matter, it just won’t make a difference, and do I really have the time and energy to do something?’

Actually, you should and yes you do. We need to have the time and energy to make changes. We here at Laughing Elephant Yoga have 3 super easy ideas for you to help make a difference this holiday season:

#1: Lisa Rae teaches Mommy and me/prenatal classes and one of her students approached her about collecting items for  the babies at the Rhode Island Crossroads homeless shelter. YES. Yes, we can help. Details to follow, but there will be 20 ‘giving tree tags’ with specific items coming to the studio within the next week. Please corner Lisa when you see her!

#2: A member of our community recently adopted a puppy through the East Greenwich Animal Protection League. We at Laughing Elephant LOVE this organization, and they kind of fell off our radar this Fall. (our bad) So I took a moment and checked in; they quickly responded, asking for help. We are now collecting donations through the holidays for their animals: gift cards (to pet stores like Petco), puppy collars, martingale collars, small leashes and slip leads, Kong toys, treat puzzles, etc…We will  have a box at the studio if you’d like to drop anything off. Want to make a monetary donation? Click here: http://www.gofundme.com/build-our-animal-shelter  They do so much for our four legged friends and they could really use our help.

Example #3 (in reverse) : Our global jettsetter, Megan Eddy, who always thinks big picture, took a trip to Cambodia last Spring and fell in love with the area and the children at the school where she taught English. She sadly noted these children had nothing, and when she came back, was determined to raise funds to buy them backpacks and bicycles.  She and her friend Debbie Reisert are asking for donations : https://www.gofundme.com/bicyclesandbackpacks/donate

See? Three simple things you can help with…pick one…or all!!!!

Yoga teaches us to reach out when others pull back.   We need to help those that are unseen and  have no voice. Be moved.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

Please.

 

Ever grateful,

The Laughing Elephant Yoga family

 

 

 

2016 Strong

2016.

A new year can be a new beginning.  A year to shed the unessentials, say yes to new opportunities,  and thrive.

If I have one prayer for our community, it would go like this:

Let us let go of the things that no longer serve us.  When we give everything we’ve got and it doesn’t become what we want, let it go. Sometimes we just need to surrender.

Let us run towards our dreams.  What have you been wanting to give yourself to? Choose something for 2016, and commit. Pour yourself into it, will it with intentions, and work towards making it a reality.

Say yes. And say it with enthusiasm and passion.

Show up. Our Susie Gurfein says don’t just survive, thrive in 2016! And Rob Bell preaches that ‘you have to use all your energies for your precious and sacred work. Give your best self to the world.’

Your best self indeed.

Happy, healthy and prosperous 2016.

Love,

Lori and the Laughing Elephant family

 

 

The Soul of a Studio

It starts with attitude.

And ends with bhavana. (feeling)

And in between? An ever evolving  energetic imprint of a community that calls this practice space home. Our hopes,  fears, triumphs, failures, tears and laughter. It’s all here, left on a mat. But when the mat is rolled up and neatly put away, the energy of the practice  remains, seeping into the floors and walls to form the core of this Sangha, this community.

This is the Soul of a studio.

Every now and again, a member of our community mentions “soul.” It’s because it is clear to our veteran members and newest visitors– there is something special about our yoga community. Without dogma, studio rules, a prescribed methodology or a standard sales pitch, this studio in a small town in a small state thrives.

I think it is because our studio community has Soul.

I sit at the front desk and greet the steady stream of students filing in, and hear their stories fill our space with laughter and sometimes tears  and the studio comes alive. Mavericks and mystics, badasses and babes, teachers and students alike come to move and be moved. We unpack muscles and stretch out the issues in the tissues until, rung out, there’s nothing left but space and…you.  How freaking scary is that? There’s no granola crunchy here, just a rawness and honesty that will take your breath away.

This community has a mountain of a man who has perfected the pick up hug,  a fisherman who once got knocked off his boat and swam for three hours before being rescued. There’s the girl with the weary and wary look of abuse who tries to silently heal. There’s the transgender woman with the most beautiful inner light who has found acceptance within these walls. There’s oh so wise Doc who loves Led Zeppelin and the back row. There’s a talented personal trainer who loves to laugh in class while mystically floating from asana to asana . And there’s the roller derby queen who is covered in tatts that tell her story and just oozes sweet determination. As students start to creatively and individually move within the practice, they slowly flow and become one.

These are snapshots of our community that nowhere near complete the picture.  Their stories all spill out, without fear of judgement  or shame. There is unity in diversity and authenticity in vulnerability.

This is the Soul of a studio.

It is not the physical  structure or the decorations that give a yoga studio soul.   It’s individuals coming together…each part to make the whole. Our Seva (service)  here is to hold space, listen and do what is needed. . Allow people to be heard, so then they in turn can listen.

The soul of a studio is ALL of these things, community, diversity, charity, space, kindness, love– oh yeah, and don’t forget about the yoga.