My Account  |  Logout  |  Contact Us

 

Finding Community (Community Matters)

 

CM-180101-post

 

by Johanna O'Connor

 

There is something magical about chanting "om" in a crowded classroom; the rich tenor of dozens of voices modulating to meet at a certain frequency. There is a tangible power when the voices become one; at least for me, the vibrations of the group center me. Finding my people -- my community -- centers me. 

 

But finding a community is not always easy. Once we are out of school, finding our people gets harder. For me, service has been a way to create that community.

 

My parents introduced the importance of community service when I was a child. I’d tag along as my parents volunteered at the local homeless shelter or we’d sponsor a family at Christmas. They explained our responsibility to give back to others, which in turn would make us appreciate what we had even more. They also explained that it is okay to get something back from volunteering -- that warm feeling of being part of a group.

 

As I entered high school, the ulterior motive of college applications led to an uptick in volunteering. Although the desire to bolster my resume got me through the door, I quickly realized I found my people. People that understood the power and responsibility of community. People that realized that giving back also gave you a pretty great feeling. People that realized that volunteering could be fun.

 

Since then, each time I moved to a new city (three times in the last 10 years), I looked for my people. When I dragged my feet, I felt something missing. I found them at community service organizations and one-off volunteering opportunities. I even found my husband through a massive community service group while in college. But increasingly I also found my people on the mat.

 

That’s what I find so exciting about Community Matters.  I joined All That Matters nearly three years ago as a way to meet people after moving to Providence from New York. I’ve found my people and a unique sense of community with ATM via weekly classes, the 40-day program and weekend workshops. And with the introduction of Community Matters, I’m so excited to see that sense of community grow and deepen.

 

Community Matters will bring that sensation of becoming one off of the mat. By uniting our yogi community and directing our energy out into our Rhode Island community, there will be a tangible power.

 

Visit the Community Matters website to learn more about the program.


Community Matters

 

All That Matters is excited to be sponsoring a grass-roots effort in Providence to bridge the practice of yoga on the mat with the practice of bringing yoga off the mat and into our relationships. Community Matters is a Providence-based program fueled by teacher and community collaboration and sponsored by All That Matters.

 

The following is an excerpt from the Community Matters blog. We'll be dedicating space on the All That Matters blog to bring you news and updates and how you can support this yoga-based program. Our hope is that by making it easier for our All That Matters community to get involved, the ideas inherent in "seva" (selfless service) will seep out into the greater RI community and start a wave only grows with time.

 

You can read the full post HERE.

 

"The Link between Yoga and Community"

by Sara Flanders (December 9, 2017)

 

When most folks think about what yoga is, what most quickly comes to mind is the image of people moving on yoga mats in poses, breathing consciously. Sometimes the idea we have is someone meditating, engaging in the vast depth within. The Bhagavad Gita, a text dear to my heart and one I’ve been studying for over a decade, shares that yoga is really a triadic path of practice: the path of Wisdom (Jnana Yoga), the path of Love and Devotion (Bhakti Yoga), and the path of Action (Karma Yoga).

 

Karma has many meanings. One definition is Action. So Karma Yoga is the yoga of action, of doing, of being in the world and being part of its workings. Karma also has to do with our past actions, thoughts, conceptualizations, experiences and their effect on others and ourselves. Karma in this definition is not limited to individuals, but also communities, countries, even the planet.

 

The Path of Action, Karma Yoga, is the practice of walking your talk, aligning your actions and choices with your values. It is a path where one operates under the deep knowing that everything we do or say has an effect on the world. 

 

When we engage in the practice of yoga in the studio or workout space, we are immediately learning how the shape of the body has an effect on our mind, our emotions, our well-being. So, after a strong warrior pose, there is often a strengthening, a building of endurance, with an effect on the mind of being challenged and yet also knowing one’s capacity to deal with difficulty. In another example, after and during a big heart-opening pose, we may feel shifted into more ease of breath, a sense of spaciousness internally, a lightness of being.

 

As yoga practitioners, we learn that all the parts of our body are interrelated. As one example, if the pelvis is tucked under, the outer hip muscles tighten and can affect the stability in the knee or lower leg. The tucked pelvis can impact the low back and the rest of the spine to create tightness or impaired mobility. This can lead to the shoulders rounding forward and the neck jutting forward, contributing to strain in the neck and shoulder muscles or even headaches. Conversely, when the pelvis moved into a neutral position, it can create more space and clarity internally for the organs to optimally operate, more balance and ease through the legs and upper body, and often beneficently affects the state of the mind as well. This is one of the reasons yoga asana is used to shift consciousness. When we start to feel how every part of ourselves is related to every other part and one shift can create either challenge or ease, we attempt to bring more awareness of our patterns. As we Act to shift them, we uplift the whole system of our body/mind.

 

.... 

 

To this aim, a teacher-led committee at All That Matters is launching a Karma Yoga program, a Seva program where teachers, staff, students, are supported in all working together, gathering our intentions to serve the greater community. Seva means selfless service. To move the teachings off the yoga mat into integration in our lives, we choose to create actions in alignment with our values, intentions and hopes for humanity. We choose Love in the way we relate to those we love. And together, we choose Love and support to those we wish the best for, but aren’t sure how to uplift. Together with these programs, we can make a difference. Together, with pooled resources, we act. We may not relieve all suffering and pain and need, but we make our effort. And together, we lift each other up. Together, things shift. Together, we are stronger.

 

To read the full piece, visit the Community Matters blog and visit the website to learn more about the program.


July 4th Yoga!

4th of July 2017

Celebrate Summer with us in Providence


summer-yoga-kickoff

All That Matters has teamed up with Providence Power Yoga to co-host a great kickoff event on June 22nd at India Point Park to celebrate the start of summer. Join us for two 45-minute classes at 5:45pm & 6:45pm. There will be yoga, live music, food, and more!

Also, every Thursday starting June 29th through August 31st, All That Matters will offer a FREE Yoga I/II class in India Point Park, presented in partnership with Fitness in the Parks. Bring a yoga mat, sunscreen, and water. Class is held on the dock by the Community Boating Center. All levels are welcome.

Get Outside!


Yoga on the Beach

It's that time of year again! The flowers and trees are in bloom, the birds are singing, the bees are pollinating – Summer Solstice is just around the corner. So take your mat outside and breathe in the beauty that surrounds you.

Find a Place of Beauty

Escape from the usual sounds and scenes of every day life and pick a spot with natural beauty. Luckily here in Rhode Island we have miles of beautiful beaches and great parks to roll out our mats for some meditative movement. Waves crashing or lush trees filled with birds chirping can help provide great cues for coming back to the 'here and now'. 

Avoid the Mid-Day Sun & Stay Hydrated
If you are going to take your practice outside, seek a shady area if at all possible, or try to choose times that are before or after the intensity of mid-day heat. Creating an early morning practice or going outside in the evening will help you avoid heat stroke, and drinking lots of water will keep you hydrated as flow through poses. 

Pack Light, but Smart
It's better to be prepared! No one wants to be too cold or hot while lying in shavasana, so bring some extra layers that can easily be added or removed as a response to the whimsy of Mother Nature. We suggest having a bag ready with your favorite durable yoga mat, blanket or beach towel, sun block, and water bottle so it's ready to go when you are.

June Means Summer!



Summer Yoga Packages

Summer Yoga Packages are here, so take advantage of $130 for a 10-Class Pass, $140 for One Month of Yoga, and $200 for Two Months of yoga.

Plus, get in the summer spirit this June with great workshops, trainings, promos, and more! Check it out.

It Pays to be Mindful

Take advantage of Early Bird Pricing for our new Mindfulness Teacher Training Online with Erin Sharaf. If you signup before May 15th, you'll receive 10% OFF the cost of the program.

Learn more about the program here.

Thanks, Mom!


moms-day-header-2

With Mother's Day just around the corner, check out these great give options to say thanks to mom.

Happy Mind = Happy Life

yoga-every-day

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and here at All That Matters we believe that a happy mind begins with a quiet mind. So consider some reasons to incorporate yoga into your daily routine:
  1. With Practice Comes Self-Acceptance: Yoga asks us to sit with our thoughts and physical sensations in a non-judgmental way. The more often you move with awareness noticing breath, body, mind, and emotions the more likely you are able to maintain that awareness when the "challenging" sensations arise... bringing compassion to the situation.
  2. Syncing Body and Mind with Breath Reduces Stress: Controlled breathing, Pranayama, has been proven to reduce symptoms associated with stress and attention-deficit disorders, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Even if you find it difficult to sit and meditate, try to focus on your breathing for just 5-10 minutes.
  3. It Builds Physical Strength: Stronger and more pliable muscles, stability in the joints, and improved balance will reduce susceptibility to pain and injury... leading to increased energy and vitality.
  4. Daily Practice "Keeps Us Clean": The basic practices of yoga and meditation are simply good hygiene. They help clean out the bad thoughts and bodily sensations we feel during the day allowing more room for rest and positive engagement with the world around us.

Read the newsletter

From East Greenwich, with Love.


studio-header

The back door is open… Come watch the trees bloom, the birds fly, and the woodland creatures find food. Some days we can hear the stream, rushing water in the background, other days the space is filled with raindrops on the roof. If you are seeking a space of tranquility and rest come make a visit. The walls have fresh coats of paint and each week the space finds home to new plants, books, and artwork. And, of course, find your way back to your breath and back to your body on your yoga mat.

Click to read more about the happenings at our East Greenwich studio...

Next