On September 15, 2018, more than 400 people lined the streets of downtown Albany with yoga mats for the second annual YogaPalooza ("YP"). This massive yoga event joins people of all ages and backgrounds and encourages connection and community. It was a beautiful, sunny day and you could feel the energy on the streets in anticipation of a one-hour all levels yoga class led by Jess P.
This was my second year on the YP team, which includes endless hours of planning and preparation, meetings, and event promotion behind the scenes. My role on the team also means that on the day of the event I help to welcome students, check people in and assist with strategic mat placement, as well as providing hands on assists to those participating in the class. Assisting is an opportunity for those on their mat to transform their practice by getting deeper into a pose and discovering something new in a posture while experiencing a physical connection. The power of touch is essential for human connection and a simple touch, hug, or brush of skin can mean so much to another being.
The experience of assisting a group this size was a game changer for me and immediately brought me back to Baptiste Level 2, a program I apprenticed in 2016. Being of SERVICE. Giving with NO expectation of receiving. CONNECTION. CONTRIBUTION. I gained the deep understanding of what it actually means to “be of service” and be a stand for others. Above all, the immense gratitude I feel for being part of a movement to make the world a brighter place through sharing yoga is truly life changing and continues to fuel a fire deep within me.
I am proud of our amazing community at The Hot Yoga Spot and acknowledge the dedication and countless hours of everyone involved. Witnessing an idea (by Dora Philip, a student of THYS and close friend) brought to life through teamwork, determination, and commitment, is a true testament of being of service and has filled my heart with love and gratitude. YogaPalooza 2018 will forever have a sweet spot in my soul, and continues to inspire me to be up to something bigger both on and off my mat.
Written by Sheryl when reflecting on YogaPalooza, 2018. Experience programming with her and the rest of our Baptiste teachers during weekly classes or by participating in 40 Days to Personal Revolution and Compass Mentorship.