Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Karma Yoga; My Practice for CNIB

First, thank you all very much for the wonderful discussion going on at my DivaCup Overshare! Keep it up, it's fab! 
As a few of you have noticed, I have decided to undertake something *new* in my yoga practice this month of May... A form of Karma Yoga.

Some of you commented a while back on my experience of 'binge' yoga, about how yoga 4 times a week really didn't seem excessive. For myself, I work full time and would like other to do other social things instead of 'sorry, I have yoga tonight'. Or I'd like to play my guitar again... We sadly only have room for one thing an evening in our schedule, since my 'yoga' consisted of taking up from 5:30-7:30 each night (prep, chat, yoga, chat, change).

Weirdly enough, I recently discovered something called 'The Great Canadian Stretch'. Yep, not really my favourite name, but the name isn't what got me. This organization is a challenge for Yogi-nis across Canada to set a goal for their practice and support the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), one of Canada's oldest charities.

CNIB supports families with information, funds research and serves as a connection between professionals, organizations and individuals with a visual impairment. Interestingly enough, as a paediatric Speech-Language Pathologist, I have witnessed the unexpected effects that vision loss or impairment can have. Impaired vision can also greatly affect communication skills, social skills and ability to connect with family members. So much of our communication is non-verbal, facial expressions and visual.

For example, if your child was born with severe vision loss that was undiagnosed, how would they learn social cues such as eye contact, pointing and looking and responding to gestures? How would they learn symbolic and pretend play? Misdiagnosis of other social communicative disorders can (and has) happened due to undiagnosed vision loss.

So. I decided that my Yoga practice could definitely serve something more than my Self. I set my personal Yoga Adventure:

  • I will practice Yoga every day for the month of May while listening to my body and finding a balance. This means not an hour of intense flow every day for a month, but trying more restorative and calming sequences at night. Meditating quietly for longer than 3 breaths. More pranayama during my practice.
  • Although I'm finding a balance, I don't want to just stand up in Tadasana and claim 'ta dah!sana' I'm done! Each practice should be at least 20 minutes.
  • During this month I will also invest a bit more into the Community Yoga Group, Coffee and Yoga and Yoga in the Park.

All this, and I set my goal originally at 100$... but have moved it up to 500$ with some prompting from Andrew. I was quite shy about posting this publicly... I really don't like to ask others for money, or to sponsor me, afraid I'm being all annoying and stuff. I'm really a bad fundraiser... hah.

Andrew being so wonderful, he posted the link on his facebook page and encouraged me (strongly) to blog about it. So here I am. As you can see from my little rant, I feel strongly that our Yoga Practice should be taken Off the Mat (as Seane Corn does) and make a difference. I would love it if you could help in any way, or just send positive vibes on my Journey. My sponsor page is here. :)

So, how's it going so far?
As you may have noticed, I blogged on HYC about our Beltane Yoga and Loving-Kindness Adventure with the Park Security Dude (my tree pose on the shore of the harbour). I tried to talk myself out of practicing on Sunday (already?? lol) but Andrew, again, pulled through and informed me that 20 minutes was 'no big deal, do it'.

Last night, for the first time ever in my solitary practice, I chose really slow and calming postures, neck rolls, child's poses, forward bends. Instead of being bored, I was calm, peaceful and the stress melted away! Who knew that late night, before bed yoga could be so beautiful?? (hah, I bet a lot of you knew!).

Tonight I wanted to move, I've felt lethargic all day. Yogaglo was perfect, 30 minutes of sweating and I'm happy and ready for the rest of the week!

Many Blessings!

article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com


  1. It sounds lovely---what a great way to turn something you already love into a means to support something else that you are so passionate about. Way to go! And two thumbs up to Andrew for cheering and pushing you on :)

  2. An excessive yoga practice, it seems to me, is one that increases rather than relieves physical and/or mental stress (then, now that I think of it, that could have more to do with one's attitude toward practice than anything--whether you're practicing on a given day because you want to or because you feel like you have to). And, believe me, I speak from experience.

    Good for you on the karma yoga thing!

  3. Andrew is amazing, and so are you! This is fantastic. It will be fun to hear how your month is going as you practice daily and practice in ways you haven't before. Very cool.

  4. I simply love a calming, restorative practice in the evening before dinner... Or in the mornings if I am feeling tired or like I might be getting sick! It's refreshing and rejuvenating.

    Good for you that you are committed to 'branching out' with your Yoga and the types of yoga you practice, too! :D

  5. This is such a great idea. And I love your emphasis on yoga on and off the mat. All the best with your challenge.

    I've been thinking about doing yoga before bed, you've prompted me to give it a go. Thanks :)

  6. Wonderful idea for a self-challenge! It's so good to hear that other people also only have time for one evening activity. My husband and I sometimes feel very overscheduled: this semester he has class on Monday nights, so I'm home with the dog; Tuesday and Thursday we go to yoga; Wednesday and Friday are usually free. Of course "free" often means "make dinner because we ate all the leftovers." It's a challenge--in both a positive and negative way--to try and fit in everything we feel we need to do. Blessings on your journey off the mat!

  7. This is a great idea! The best of luck for May practice.
    Yepp, a bit of yoga before bed is really nice. To stretch out and calm down after the day.
    I now have you on my bloglist, let me know if you disagree =)

  8. I practice at home, and only go to a class occasionally. I find that I enjoy it so much more - I guess i am kind of a solitary person. I'm glad you found that it doesn't have to an intense hour of yoga for you to get a lot from it. (I clicked on Yogaglo and was shocked though to see it's a site that charges! What's that about- no need to pay for a home practice)

  9. Yay! So awesome!

    Is this only for Canadian donors? I tried to donate, but it won't let me use an American address.

  10. A Green Spell: I was having the same problem: under the Province/State tab, I was seeing only provinces. Then something strange happened and suddenly I was seeing states, and was able to put in my US address...so it's definitely possible, but there seems to be a weird glitch involved...

  11. Try changing the country to "United States" first. That's what I did, and then when I clicked on "Provinces," the list was actually all the states.


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