You love yoga. You have those super cute Lululemon crops…AND the matching jacket.  I know-they are the worth money.  Totally agree.  But do you live your yoga?  Interesting question?  Maybe?  Read on…

On Sunday, September 9, over 100 yogis united in the Sportsplex of Halfmoon for Yoga Aid World Challenge Clifton Park. It was an amazing event-joining with over 200 other events around the world in the biggest global yoga relay to raise money for charity.  The challengers were brilliant-giving generously of their time, their money and their hearts. Ten yoga teachers from this area truly put yoga into action. They took what they share in their classes—off the mat and into the world.  Area studio owners Emily Clausi (Estudio Hot Yoga in Latham and Clifton Park), Jessica Lustig (The Hot Yoga Spot) and Jennilee Toner (The Yoga Spa) lived their yoga-they embraced this event and acted as one yoga community-a family.  Vicki Brignati, Justin Wolfer and Lisa O’Brien were asked to teach, to coordinate, to contribute.  The answer was “what can I do?”  Assistants Meg Allen, Aaron Styles (both of The Hot Yoga Spot), Rachel Henrich (The Yoga Spa), Amber LaPointe Pettersen (Yana Yoga) and Sachi Ena (Estudio Hot Yoga) jumped in to assist the challengers as well. Nick Pavoldi of the Gong Lab answered with: “Here is what more we can do.”  They were magical.  At Yoga Aid, we raised money, did sun salutations….but each person in that room truly lived their yoga.  Yoga asks you to get real, to peel back layers and to look inside.  When you are asked, what do you stand for?  What is your life for?  How do you answer?  On September 9 over 110 people stood for each other, stood for community, for UNITY, for service and for love. The call to serve, the call to stand for something bigger than a yoga mat, a yoga pose….that energy was palpable on Sunday.

What people didn’t see at Yoga Aid is the heart, the selflessness, the effort, the living yoga of Emily, Vicki, Jennilee, Jessica, Justin and Lisa. Each person came together for the love of yoga and to serve.  The collaborative effort was exceptional. The power in this event was through yoga, through union.  Through the collective effort of the group.  Kind of like the Power Rangers…each power ranger has an individual specialty, but they morph together to form this giant, unstoppable force because of the combined powers of the individuals. The reason the Yoga Aid World Challenge was such an amazing event is because each person who participated, who gave…Lisa, Vicki, Jessica, Justin, Jennilee and Emily — each person LIVED their YOGA. They joined their collective gifts and created a space for Capital Region yogis to come in where over 110 people from Albany all the way to Saratoga came together to practice and raise $6,000 for charity.  They didn’t just post pictures of “advanced poses” on Facebook, sport yoga pants made out of recycled bottles with the coordinating headband, while talking about their favorite juice cleanse and Samadhi. It was yoga in action.  Love for the practice, the call to serve selflessly, love for each other, standing for each other. It was yoga in action. It was lifeyum.

Lifeyum=feel good, do good.  Catchy tag isn’t it?  It’s not a marketing tagline. It is Lisa O’Brien. You meet Lisa and you just feel better by meeting her, by talking to her. You walk into Starbucks looking for your Starbucks fix, run into this 6 foot beautiful blonde who in 45 seconds has made you feel good…with a smile, a hug, a wink. But you leave this brief encounter feeling BETTER and you don’t know why. Then you start chatting with Lisa about yoga…you see immediately that Lisa lives her yoga. She embodies Feel Good, Do Good.  Her selflessness, her encouragement, her involvement…truly elevated the Yoga Aid event.  I don’t have enough room in this blog post to detail how Lisa went above and beyond in the name of service.  In the name of YOGA.

The yoga community as a whole took a giant step forward because of the leadership, the heart, the talent and the fire of each of these individuals. I am excited to see where this grows from here.  It feels like we all just jumped on a giant wave of change and are just at the start of an amazing ride. I can’t wait to see where this community can go.  And I thank you Lisa. Thank you for authorizing me to post on your blog—for allowing me to write a Yoga Aid piece without running it by you for review. Words are inadequate in expressing my gratitude to you…we all need more yum in our life and YOU are putting it there.  You are lifeyum.