Last month the nation watched in horror media coverage of a mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut that killed 26 victims, most of whom were 6- and 7-year-old children. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary left many in the yoga community wondering how they could help and what they could do to prevent more tragedies like this from happening in the future.
So when Yoga Dimensions, a yoga studio in Newtown, contacted yoga teacher Rolf Gates to see if he'd be able to teach a class there to benefit Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded by members of the Newtown community, he was happy that his schedule would allow him to make it there.
"This is yoga off the mat," Gates, author of Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, told Buzz. "What they're doing at Sandy Hook Promise is attempting to bring more wisdom and compassion to how things operate in the community. That's the long-term goal of every Downward Dog—to bring more wisdom and compassion to how we conduct our daily lives."
The mission of Sandy Hook Promise is to support the community, honor the victims and community, and offer financial support as needed. The organization is also committed to keeping the dialogue open, seeking solutions to make our communities safer for everyone, and making the tragedy an event that spurs lasting change in our country. Read the full mission here.
Gates said that supporting the organization by thinking about what the promise means and choosing whether to support it is just as important as attending the benefit or donating money to the cause. "They're asking people to reflect and make a choice," he said. "By doing that you're telling the people of Newtown that they're not alone." This is something that yoga students all across the country can do even if they aren't close enough to attend the event.
The benefit will take place on January 29 at Reed Intermediate School in Newtown. The suggested donation for the class is $40. For more information visit Sandy Hook Promise website.