Last week I attended a charity yoga workshop for an organization called Bend to Mend. The organization and the workshop was a vision of two of these awesome yogis I follow on Instagram.
From their website:
"Bend to Mend is a recently incorporated non-for profit organization established by high school and yoga teachers Anayra I. Calderon and Victoria Arvizu. Working with inner city students opened up their eyes to see the needs that were not being filled in their school communities. Prior to Bend to Mend, Inc. being established, Anayra collaborated with some of the yoga studios that she worked at as a yoga teacher to raise funds to provide Thanksgiving meals to Jersey City families in need, more specifically, families of students from the high school where she teaches. After three years of working with yoga studios, and asking friends and family for donations, Thanksgiving meals have turned into gift cards at Christmas, collecting prom dresses for prom, and now to creating Bend to Mend, Inc. in order to be able to raise funds on a larger scale."
I've been following these lovely women on Instagram for a couple months now and when they posted the image above, I was sold. I have begun incorporating yoga weekly into my life and I wanted to meet the people who inspired that decision. After trying to get some people to come along with me, I ended up attending alone and I am really happy I did. It helps to step out of my comfort zone. When I attend an event with a person I know, I tend to stick with that person and not venture out. Being alone forced me to connect with strangers and I am so happy I did. I walked into North Jersey Muay Thai feeling lonely and walked out filled with love and completely fulfilled. There were 90 people who attended this event. Amongst them was a woman I met on Instagram who sells beautiful jewelry. I purchased one of her pieces online (bottom left in the picture below) and wore it to the event. I was so ecstatic to meet her and she was as sweet as she comes off to be online.
That's the beauty of social media connections. As much as many people say that connections have been lost because of social media, I've found it to be a little different. I feel like I've gained so much from the people I've met online and the best part is meeting them in person and seeing that they are the same exact person and are so willing to connect and bond. Of course there are those catfish people and others who are out to do wrong, but I've luckily have been able to "sniff" those people out.
Back to the event.... 90 yogis in a Muay Thai studio....sounds like the beginning of a really bad joke but I've got nothing on the humor front. It's true! Check out this pic:
I had the pleasure of practicing on the ring! People were fitting themselves everywhere they could and for good reason. These women are great. The workshop was two hours. The first hour was a traditional yoga class that was preparing us for the fun part. People follow Vic, Ana, Laura, and Masumi on Instagram, for several reasons:
1. They are some pretty cool chicks
2. They have awesome song choices for their videos
3. They host many online yoga challenges
4. They have ridiculously awesome instruction on how to do these crazy acro yoga moves.
5. THEY CAN ACTUALLY DO THESE CRAZY ACRO YOGA MOVES.
So the 2nd part of the workshop was all the fun! Each woman taught us a move and we got to play with our neighbors! I had to trust complete strangers in helping me get into a handstand, back bend, wheel, and other crazy moves. No better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I was also very lucky to end up surrounded by three other women who came alone to the event so we worked together. Two of us were beginners, one intermediate and one of the ladies @_karioo is ridiculously flexible and strong. Here are two pics of people getting into handstand.
Lastly, the event offered some opportunity to shop and I bought this cute headband from @shopglamorous and an evil eye ring from @deenboutique. The headband is great because it doesn't come off my head and it causes no headaches!!!
And if you are one of the lucky people reading this who lives in Hackensack, Lodi, North Jersey area, check out these instructors. They are fabulous. It's $5!! http://www.yogaintheworld.com/-5-KARMA-YOGA-CLASSES-.html
In my area yoga costs $20-$30 for a one hour class. They are doing a $5 75-minute class. Get over there!