I was about 10-years-old, when my father made a point to slow the car down and point to a homeless woman pushing a grocery cart with her belongings. He asked me, “What do you think it’s like to be in her shoes?”
I don’t know if at that age I could really grasp what it was like to be in her shoes, but 30 years later, I still remember that moment and the image of this woman on the sidewalk slowly pushing the grocery cart.
“What do you think it’s like to be in their shoes?” is a question that has been central in my adult life. It was the question that literally propelled me to collect, package and distribute over 50,000 pairs of shoes to children in Kenya in my early twenties when I founded a non-profit organization called Beyond Shoes. It was also the motivation behind work I did to help relocate a homeless shelter on the West Side of Chicago. I was fortunate enough to receive a $100,000 grant from the Oprah Winfrey Angel Network and was able to rehab a new facility for them.
And on some level, the Beverly Yoga Center was created because I had an understanding that in life people struggled and suffered. The yoga center I had envisioned could be a nourishing place of comfort, ease and calm.
Last weekend, my husband and I had the privilege of working with a community group and where we served homeless children, men and women in Robbins. Just 15 minutes from our home. While none of these volunteers were yoga students, they were living yoga with their hands. Qualities of kindness, patience, listening, compassion, presence, awareness were all present.
- How is the BYC connecting outside of the studio in meaningful ways?
- How are our values translating out into the larger community?
- How do we create an inviting atmosphere for students to belong to something bigger than just the postures and practice inside our space?
Beginning this spring several things are happening that speak to these questions. We will:
- host a Beverly Yoga Center book club once a month.
- pack lunches once a month on Friday afternoons (children welcome) for the homeless who sleep under Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago. Email us for more information. (ADD LINK FOR FLYER TO WEBSITE) Or sign up here.
- offer opportunities for the BYC community to volunteer in Robbins serving the poor (children over the age of 8 welcome). Email us for more information. (ADD LINK FOR FLYER TO WEBSITE)
- create a group for teens (the Global Citizen Teen Club) that offers an opportunity to care for the world we live in through service projects, education, global connections, compassionate action and understanding perspectives. (ADD LINK FOR FLYER TO WEBSITE)
I invite you to consider participating in these activities alongside your fellow yoga friends and BYC teachers. If you would like to be notified as these events come up please send us an email and we will send you alerts about upcoming events.View Post