Last Sunday the Washington, DC yoga community was shocked to learn that teacher Michael Joel Hall was attacked by a group of teenagers as he and his boyfriend were walking home from dinner.
Hall, who owns MiDCity Yoga and also teaches at Yoga District, ended up in the hospital with a broken cheekbone.
The attackers ran off when neighbors heard the commotion and came out to help. Police are investigating whether the attack was a hate crime, though Hall told a DC Fox News affiliate that he doesn’t know that this is the case. “I think a victim of a crime is a victim of a crime,” he said. “I don’t know what their motive was.”
The couple had just moved to the neighborhood after a fire destroyed their previous home on June 7.
The yoga community in DC and beyond has rallied to help Hall, who doesn’t have health insurance and won’t be able to teach for at least six weeks, pay for his medical expenses. A Facebook event page has been set up to announce a series of fundraising classes and events, including a blow-out event sponsored by Lululemon on Aug. 5 where 12 teachers will lead attendees in 108 rounds of Sun Salutations.
Hall’s friend, yoga teacher Peggy Mulqueen spoke with him after surgery, when he heard of the actions taking place in his honor. “I feel blessed,” Hall said.
“Our yoga is so much more than a bunch of Sun Salutations,” Mulqueen, who is helping to organize the fundraising events, told Buzz. “It is a practice where each of us has the opportunity to become a part of something bigger than ourselves.
“If Michael is blessed, then he’s not the only one, we all are … with each other. Because while they say it takes a village, it actually takes a community.”