Vinyasa Yoga For Youth Fundraiser in Kelowna
December 30th 2012 Ryan Leier came to Kelowna to gain support for Vinyasa Yoga for Youth as well as lead a wonderful all levels all ages practice. There were many families and lots of
little ones demonstrating their favorite asanas. Ryan has an energy that attracts children and adults alike. However the children seem to be in awe of him and his relaxed demeaned
brought out the best in even the shiest of the kids. It was special to see all the kids light up and want to show their best poses and shine brightly. It was really a fun
Having a practice that was designed around youth gave them the opportunity to be center of attention in a positive manner and made yoga accessible. The practice was playful and light; by the smiles on the adults face it was hard to say who was having more fun.experience to be a part of.
The turnout was great with over 120 adults and children making it for the practice the Laurel building was full. There was also a silent auction that brought in more support for the cause. When it was all over there was more than $3200 raised, all of which will go towards building a space downtown Vancouver for at risk youth to practice yoga.
More about Vinyasa Yoga For Youth: it empowers youth aged 5-22 through the practice of Yoga. The primary focus is on the unique challenges facing “at risk youth”. Yoga helps discipline the body and mind and leads youth towards healthier life choices, an enhanced capacity for love and compassion, and ultimately a more meaningful life experience. The program supplements curriculum in primary and secondary schools in both urban and rural contexts by (a) providing in-school workshops, (b) supporting afterschool programs and youth groups, and (c) holding weekend and summer retreats. Believing in the power of yoga and that peace begins with the children. For more info check out vinyasayogaforyouth.com
“I met Ryan Leier at my first ever program with Baron Baptiste. I was both in awe and a little intimidated to get to meet Baron and be a part of the amazing Baptiste community. When I arrived at the training, all of my insecurities and self-limiting beliefs came screaming into my head all at once. “I’m not good enough, I don’t have enough training, who am I to be here with these people?” and on and on. Fortunately for me, Ryan, who was assisting at this particular program, was one of the first people to greet me.
Anyone who has met Ryan can tell you that his warmth and generosity of spirit are something to behold. His absolute genuine friendliness and his natural way of making people feel included put me at ease and I felt myself relaxing a little.
As I embarked on my first practice with Baron (which was about 4 hours long in a hot room with about 150 people) all of those insecurities started to come up.. Towards the end as Baron was asking us to do what seemed like the 100th wheel pose I had tears streaming down my face as I came up against my ego, my self-doubt and what I thought were my physical limitations at the same time. Through my tears I looked up and Ryan was there . He said “ Hey Kelowna, do you wanna go up one more time?” I said “I can’t” (with an entire laundry list of excuses running through my head) . He looked at me so kindly, both with compassion and a twinkle in his eye, but he didn’t let me off the hook, instead he said “grab my ankles, stretch your arms and reach for the stars”. I felt calm and I did what he asked. I was in a beautiful wheel pose because this man saw where he could be of service and gently nudged me to my edge.
I was truly inspired by Baron Baptiste that day and am in ongoing training with Baron to this day. Baron has inspired me to let go of my concern for looking good and to face myself and the world fearlessly so that I might step into my own greatness and to empower others into theirs. Ryan was the living, breathing embodiment of those philosophies and he inspired me that day just as much as Baron had.
Since that day I have connected with Ryan at his own workshops and seen what being of service is really all about. Ryan’s passion for bringing yoga to the children is not only tangible but contagious as well. It lit a fire in me to look around and see where I could do more, give more and make more of a difference on the planet.Sometime in the fall I noticed that Ryan had posted on face book that his Yoga for Youth organization needed money. I happily offered to teach some community classes and donate the money to Yoga for Youth for which their team was very grateful. Somehow though, I knew that I could do more, take a step out of my comfort zone and go big! Ryan’s initial act of kindness, making me feel welcome, included, capable had opened the door to stepping up to my own edge in every way. With the help of an amazing group of willing people this beautiful Yoga for Youth fundraising event in Kelowna came about. It began with nothing more than the desire to help raise a little money and grew into a beautiful community event that brought awareness as well as funds to the Yoga for Youth community. I am so grateful to our incredible yoga community for coming together to support this much needed organization. Getting yoga to the children is the way to heal the planet. I hope that as a community we can continue to raise both awareness and funds for this truly great work. Never underestimate the power of a few kind words; you never know how they might show up later!”
Thank you to everyone who came out the share in this magical practice and to those who supported it.
Watch the video of Vinyasa Yoga for Youth in Kelowna.