My long-time readers know that I have taught yoga and meditation at a domestic violence shelter as a volunteer since 2004. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month so I have always tried to do a yoga fundraiser for the shelter. Many of you also know that I no longer teach at yoga studios so I have not been able to do this fundraiser for a while due to lack of a space. This year the director of the dance studio where I do Nia has generously offered her studio so I am back on track.
Getting local newspapers to take any interest in this has been close to impossible. In fact, getting ANY local people to take any interest in this is close to impossible.
So I am going global and I’m asking for money. Big money….because I want to start a consistent trauma sensitive yoga program at the shelter. If yoga bloggers can ask their readers for money to fund their teacher trainings or travels to yoga fests, I can also ask for some do-re-me. The money does not even have to go to me, it can go directly to the shelter to be specifically dedicated for a yoga program.
I am looking for socially-minded corporate sponsors, whether in Illinois or anywhere in the world, to help fund my proposed Trauma Sensitive Mind-Body Program. I study yoga therapy in India; I’m certified in Trauma Sensitive Yoga….I got the goods, people! All my yoga tools are for the women at the shelter.
My TSMB program will provide structured yoga sessions for domestic violence survivors to give them tools to address their habituated patterns and symptoms that lead to relapse into the cycle of trauma. I will offer a research-based yoga curriculum based on the ways in which mind-body practices facilitate traumatic stress recovery.
The shelter depends on grants and donations and the money goes toward keeping the doors open for the women. After 7 years of teaching only once a month, I finally sat down last month with the director to talk about starting a dedicated weekly or twice weekly yoga program. She said they would look for grants for money to fund my teaching but it will be a long process. I said that I was patient because after all, I’ve already been teaching there for 7 years.
I am not a non-profit organization (although I am looking into re-organizing as a “low profit” corporation, a new business entity) so I can not apply for grants on my own. Once I tried Kickstarter to help raise money, but they refused my project because it had nothing to do with the arts, it was not “creative” enough. Even the local yoga magazine has refused stories in spite of two of my students contacting the editor over the years. I’m calling you out, Yoga Chicago.
I admit it — I get a bit down when I see others get featured for their karma yoga projects. Not jealous because they are doing valuable work…just depressed because I’ve been doing the same thing for a long time and maybe if I got some news flash, some local money would flow into the shelter to start a program. Or maybe just some help or advice. Whatever. I just keep plugging away.
As naive as this sounds, I am looking for a benefactor for this program. A sugar daddy. Or mommy. An anonymous benefactor or maybe a rich person can leave us some money in their will. Another Oprah. Hey, Oprah! You had Rodney Yee on your show years ago and talked about how wonderful yoga is…so help a sister out, will ya?
Blech. I’m just tired of banging my head against the wall. It’s very tiring when you’re the only one doing this without any emotional support.
I know a lot people from all over the world read this blog. If you can help us out, contact me.
But in the meantime, if you are in the Fox Valley area of far west suburban Chicago, consider attending the First Yogathon for Victims of Domestic Violence. Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.
Help some sisters out.