Yoga Diary: Calendar Girls

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I teach yoga in Fort Pierce, Florida, and decided to combine yoga with kayak tours of the river. During our first retreat, we saw disturbing sights in the Indian River Lagoon: polluted water, careless boaters, and coastal construction that had shrunk the wildlife habitat. After a sunny afternoon on the river, we gathered for an hour of yoga before dinner. The sunset washed the sky in bright orange and streaks of pink, purple, and blue, making a breathtaking backdrop for Savasana.

During our meal, we discussed what we might do to protect the lagoon. This fragile marine ecosystem needed a voice. Since 1950, about 30 percent of the lagoon’s seagrass beds have been lost. These flowering plants provide food for hundreds of important species. We decided to raise funds to bring awareness to the community. But how?

As we brainstormed, someone brought up the Calendar Girls movie: Prim Englishwomen who wanted to raise money for their hospital created a seminude calendar that raised enough money for an entire hospital wing. We decided to give it a try.

Our calendar of women ranging in age from 25 to 68 was photographed and completed a year later. We bared our bodies for this marine ecosystem. The 2007 Seagrass Awareness Calendar message was “The Lagoon can’t bare it alone.” So far, we’ve raised more than $12,000, and Governor Jeb Bush designated March Seagrass Awareness Month in Florida. We can make a difference for the environment.