Bringing Yoga to Detroit
BY KATHERINE AUSTIN
On July 23rd, I brought yoga to Milliken State Park in downtown Detroit for our 4-week Karma in the Park program.
It was a beautiful experience to share the healing teachings of yoga with so many from Detroit and the suburbs. The interesting summer weather made for sometimes a chilly or rainy day, but it always seemed to clear up exactly when we started the yoga practice. The light always wins!
I decided to do this back in February when I heard about Fresh Air Fit's program to bring exercise to Michigan State Parks in the summer. I really wanted to uplift Detroit and share these teachings with more and more people. Everyone deserves to feel better and tap into their unlimited potential!!
I chose back then to start 7/23 due to my schedule. I didn't know at the time, but 3 days before we began yoga in the park, Detroit filed for bankruptcy. It was a historical moment and divine timing to bring healing vibrations to the city.
Many came each Tuesday, and the word spread quickly! We were right along the Detroit River, a gorgeous spot overlooking deep blue waters and surrounded by tall trees as well as tall buildings outlining the city skyline. I loved going downtown each week. Such an easy quick drive for us from the suburbs and such a completely different world.
When we began planning, at first, we set a price to pay for the classes. But as I got closer to the time, I felt I couldn't charge for this healing, so we made the four weekly classes a fundraiser for Urban Farming, a Detroit organization I've been supporting since 2005. My teachers donate a percentage per student in each of their classes, and I also donate $2 for every mat sold monthly at my studio. It was a win-win for Detroit! Healing vibrations and meditations and cash flow for urban gardens to literally uplift this ailing city.
Certainly, more needs to be done to turn Detroit around; yoga can't do it alone. This is true if you only look at the surface and only look with our small human minds. However, it doesn't take much to shift consciousness if you know how to tap into a bigger energy to assist you. That's what yoga does, and we know from spiritual history that when two or more are gathered, miracles occur.
Back in 1993, more than 2,000 meditators were in Washington, D.C. for a study to show how a group of meditators could literally change the vibration to a higher, more positive one within the city to lower the crime rate. Between June 7 - July 30th, the time the meditators were working in the city, violent crime rates in our nation's capital decreased 23%. The study noted that when the group was larger the last week, the number of violent crimes decreased even more.
Everything has to fail to renew. This is universal law. Detroit is in a rebirth.
Let's all join together and uplift Detroit.
Why not? We are energy.....when we raise our vibration, everything around us elevates too. So when you do yoga, it's never just for you. Each one of us that steps onto a yoga mat is doing our part to heal the world.
See you on the mat to give back! xoK
Photography by Lynne Golodner and Michael Hnatiuk, Your People LLC.