From Yoga to Farmers Markets to the World

This post and the previous could seem fairly irrelevant to a farmers market blog at first thought. I think it is simply a matter of perspective.

I’m asked often how the IWFM got started and what motivated me to start it. Now of course, there is the long, multifaceted explanation, but the short and simple explanation is Yoga. After several years of practicing and teaching yoga, I experienced my first weekend workshop with a teacher named Seane Corn. At some point during that first weekend, Seane told us that the sooner we started thinking “Why not me?” rather than pointing blame at others and bemoaning the things we wished were different in our lives, the sooner we’d find our sense of greater purpose and thus happiness in life. It was basically another take on Ghandi’s adage to “Be the change you wish to see” in the world.

So, I started doing things that I wanted to see in my life and my community. Among these attempts was the Indy Winter Farmers Market. Two years ago I could not have imagined doing something that would create for me a greater sense of purpose or genuine happiness than the community and energy that has developed with the IWFM.

Another lesson I have learned from yoga is to act without attachment to a particular outcome and to give without expectation of receiving back. I did not set out to run a market that would host nearly 50 vendors or serve over 1000 customers a week. I hoped to make it work for 7 weeks in November/December 2008. The experiences, relationships and opportunities for engagement that have come into my life through this market have given more than I could have ever hoped to receive.

This past summer I began teacher training in a program called Off the Mat and Into the World (OTM). OTM uses the power of yoga to inspire conscious, sustainable activism and to ignite grass roots social change. As more and more people become involved and engaged in the IWFM, I believe it is inspiring conscious, sustainable activism and igniting grass roots social change. Of course the same is true for many farmers markets, gardening projects, recycling centers, community groups and events, etc. You get the idea.

The point here is not that everyone decide to practice yoga, or start a farmers market, or plant a garden or whatever. The point is that we each consider what we can do to be the change we want to see in our life and our community/world, and that we try to do something – even if it’s small or doesn’t work out as we’d hoped. Activism and social change do not necessarily manifest as big, loud, in-your-face experiences. They can be quiet shifts of awareness and pleasurable experiences in which we recognize that somehow things are fitting together just right. Activism, social change and sustainability do require consciousness. We must actively engage in being aware of our choices, our actions, our words and how each impacts our individual and communal lives.

So, if these ideas interest you and you are looking for some motivation to jump start your steps toward where ever it is you are hoping to take your life and community – and a yoga-based exercise experience interests you – I invite you to join my New Year’s Detox Bootcamp at Invoke Studio. The class will be held Fridays in January (8, 15, 22, 29) from 5:45-7 p.m. The cost is $20 to drop-in for a single session or $75 to pre-register for all 4 weeks. The class will be challenging, yet is designed to be achievable for anyone with basic vinyasa yoga experience. It is about a lot more than the physical experience though. Come and begin the process of detoxifying your body and life in order to more fully explore your purpose and potential.


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