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I’ve got a heart lost in (your loving) kindness April 22, 2014

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in 31-Day Challenge, Changing Perspectives, Donate, Faith, Fitness, Health, Hope, Karma, Karma Yoga, Love, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Music, Pain, Peace, Philosophy, Science, Suffering, Super Heroes, Texas, Tragedy, Twin Cities, Uncategorized, Volunteer, Yoga.

“I’ve got a heart lost in kindness / A mind that’s mostly mindless / I can hold you up fore’er / I won’t let you down, I swear…” – Honeypot by Bob Schneider


“It was so inspiring and wonderful to be able to support MBS and share their mission with such an awesome group of yogis!” – Kari A.’s message to the 18 yogis who donated $349 at our donation-based class.


Every once in a while, I have one of those “yoga changed my life” moments. Sometimes the changes are small; sometimes they are large – and sometimes I don’t recognize them until years down the line.

On Saturday I had one of those “years down the line” moments as I  stood in front of 19 people who had come to Nokomis Yoga for a donation-based class in support of Mind Body Solutions and the KISS MY ASANA yogathon. As I described how my first yoga experience tied into my first yoga experience with Matthew Sanford, my voice cracked and I almost cried because I realized I was achieving a goal: I was actively and mindfully giving back what I had been given.

Robert Boustany was my first yoga teacher. Before I ever met him, Robert taught me yoga was a healing practice – that not only could the physical practice be adapted for an injury or an illness, it had a holistic health application and could be most beneficial when someone is injured or ill. When I took my first class, he taught me yoga was more than a physical practice.

Over the years, as I studied with Robert and teachers trained by Robert, I was also coming in contact with people whose only intersection to yoga seemed to be me. These people had questions – questions, which (more often than not) centered around how yoga could help them deal with a specific discomfort or disease. Early on, I didn’t have any answers; but, I knew the answers were out there – and I knew my teachers had some of those answers.

But, these people I kept running into, most of them didn’t want to go to my teachers. They wanted answers from me, because they could see I was benefiting from yoga on a lot of different levels. So, I thought, one day I’ll go through teacher training just so I can deepen my own practice and answer some questions.

Fast forward 10+ years, and I’m in a northern town, standing on the opposite end of the Mississippi River from my hometown, practicing yoga with some of my yoga students (and a bunch of gorillas), while we’re being led by a man who is paralyzed from the waist down – and I rediscover that thing I had almost forgotten was accessible to everyone: Joy.

“Every time I take a look around me / I have to smile.”

The World Exploded Into Love by Bob Schneider

Over the last few weeks, I have been overwhelmed by the loving kindness of my students. Some have generously offered their thoughts, prayers, and dedications to me and mine. Some have shared with me how they’re sharing their practice with their family and friends. Some have shared why they show up. Still others just show up – and make sure others show up.

However, the thing that continues to blow my mind is how yoga has affected people to the point that they are willing to give money to an organization and program dedicated to transforming “trauma, loss and disability into hope and potential by awakening the connection between mind and body.” They are willing to support something (to paraphrase Bob) that can only be seen “when you close your eyes / and open your heart.” The are willing to support the mind-body connection!

Saturday, I looked around at 19 open hearts – some of whom don’t even have a regular physical yoga practice – and I could feel the connection between my first yoga class, the handful of classes I’ve taken from Matthew Sanford, and the classes I’m teaching now. Saturday, I looked around at 19 open hearts – most of whom have never met or practiced yoga with Matt (or anyone considered “disabled”) – and I could feel the connection between our hearts and the hearts of the people who get to practice because we showed up on the mat. Saturday, I felt the spirit!

An overflowing cup of thanks to Kari’s friends, plus the Nokomis Yoga, Downtown-Minneapolis YMCA, and Blaisdell YMCA students who (collectively) have joyfully donated $544 to the MBS KISS MY ASANA yogathon. Thank you, also, to everyone who is on the mat this month.

Each of you, in your own way, is helping Mind Body Solutions achieve it’s goals. But, we’re not even close to done.

The KISS MY ASANA yogathon as a sing along moment. And, as Bob says, “Don’t fight the sing along.” Donate today!





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