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Connect in Compassion

Yoga teachers and practitioners from around the country want to help the victims of Katrina. Rather than feel hopeless, many yogis and yoginis are putting their compassion into action.

By YJ Staff


"I'm a yoga instructor (RYT) seeking retreat centers, lodges, etc, where we can have 3-day retreats for Katrina relief workers, to help them de-stress & rejuvenate. I live in Alaska, but am heading south October 12, and will meet up with another teacher-friend. We seek massage therapists and other teachers who'd like to donate their time & enjoy the retreats, as well. We've been finding out about grant monies available for such programs, so some payment in future may be available."


"No big story, but our community is doing some things to help out in Pensacola, Florida. Our Pranic Healing community is making a group donation to relief agencies and holding healing meditations for the stricken areas apart from the individual contributions made by each member. We are offering aid individually on an as needed basis,taking families to buy clothing,food and household goods and providing housing where possible. Our yoga studio is doing the same thing, and is having a special class ending with a restorative miniclass whose proceeds will go for aid, as well as a silent auction whose proceeds will go to aid."



"My name is Becky Watkins and I am a certified Kripalu Yoga teacher in Alexandria, La. I want to thank everyone around the country who has generously donated their time, talents and funds to help south La. residents. I am offering yoga class to those in the shelters free of charge and my October classes will be focused on relieving stress. I work for a large hospital and we have accepted many new patients from the N.O. area. Our staff is on overload, and classes for them will be $20 for six weeks. I might be able to offer it free of charge for this six weeks.

Most every home has evacuees and we have two families staying with us. We are fortunate in that one gentleman cooks and it is fun to come home after work and eat a delicious meal. New Orleans people are survivors and they love their city. It will be rebuilt better than before. We thought we were "helping" them, but instead, they enriched our lives and we have new friends.

My extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins in Biloxi area were hard hit. Even though they live five miles inland from the coast, they still had 4-5 feet of water. Everything is lost including priceless pictures kept in storage boxes under the bed. The walls have so much mold; the house is being stripped of everything except the frame and brick. My aunt and uncle just remodeled their kitchen and of course, it is gone. There is no electricity in the area and all the furniture is in the front yard. Still, they feel fortunate to be alive. It is just overwhelming. I have been doing "breathing exercises" with them over the phone."

Becky Watkins
EAP Coordinator


"My new refugee status has not only enabled me to view the world through a different lense, but it has also afforded me the opportunity to see kindness and generousity in many communities.

Right now, I am working at a school in the Baton Rouge area that has taken in many (over 90) New Orleans students. As a counselor it is not only my responsibility to care for the children while they are at school, but it is also my duty to care for our families in our new community. If there are any yoga teachers in the Baton Rouge area who would be interested in donating some time to help both the faculty and the parents of this community I would be grateful!"

Stephanie Eberts

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