The holiday season is upon us once again, and while it is a time for celebration and togetherness, it is also a time where we should all reflect on everything that we have to be grateful for, and think about those who are experiencing tough times. Those of us who live in Canada are fortunate in so many ways just due to where we live – and many of us experience abundance that others can only dream of. Because of that I think it is important that we remember to give back, whatever way we can, and that is the entire idea behind #MoveForPeace.
It might be the worst kept secret ever that I’ve been ill for the last number of months, and I actively choose not to talk about it because I am focusing my energy on healing and on gratitude for all the wonderful things I still have in my life. That said, when I first became ill I thought I had to give up yoga, which is one of the few things in my life that I make sure to always make time for and which helps me get through the tough days.
Thankfully the incredible people at my studio showed me that ANYONE can do yoga. If you have physical limitations, if you’re sick, if you’re ‘not fit’…. it doesn’t matter. There are modifications for every body, and everyone can benefit from the peace that practicing yoga can bring to your world. So I have continued to practice. Some days that’s nothing more than a meditation followed by a restorative practice, and on my good days, I can do more .
When Tanya Ryan told me about #MoveForPeace, I intuitively knew I had to get on board. The concept was brilliant – use yoga to raise money and awareness for those in need. The people I’ve met through my local yoga community are truly some of the brightest lights and most caring souls I’ve ever encountered, so it only made sense that they would want to help others. Our specific Calgary community has chosen to focus on Rowan House – a shelter for women and children in High River, AB that offers a safe place when people have to flee domestic violence.
As someone who has had experience with domestic violence, I know how it can ruin lives. It’s the little things that we often don’t think about, how these women have to leave their belongings, their pets, their everyday comforts and literally disappear in the middle of the night just to ensure their safety. Often this means starting over completely, and from a place of fear, hurt and anxiety.
That’s where yoga comes in. Yoga teaches us to be fearless. Not in the reckless sense, but in the ‘live in each moment’ sense. In the opening up your heart to a greater purpose and the possibility that the vast majority of people in this world are inherently good. Many people forget that in times of trouble, and when we arrive on our mats we work to remember that.
So for 34 days I pledged to practice yoga every day (even if it’s just a seated meditation) and in doing so I’m spreading awareness for Domestic Violence and for Rowan House. I also spoke to Tanya Ryan about why she decided to start this challenge and about how we can all help:
Please consider donating to help this shelter provide Happy Holidays for women and children throughout Alberta in need of a safe place to go. You can contact me directly or donate using this link: www.rowanhouse.ca/donate
If you donate consider commenting below, tweeting @broadwaybabyto or shouting from the rooftops – would love to know who’s on board! And remember, if you can’t donate you CAN raise awareness, use #MoveForPeace on social media and PRACTICE YOGA!