Philadelphia is Greek for “brotherly love,” which is how the city got its nickname. Not only is Philly the home of the Liberty Bell and the nation’s first library (founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1731), it also has a large arts community. Philadelphia has the most murals per capita in the entire nation, including more than 2,000 outdoor murals, and it’s thought to have more outdoor art than any city in the country. The mural program was founded in 1986 as an anti-graffiti campaign, and it seems to be working quite well. I always have a soft heart for programs that are meant to develop and encourage artists to channel their gifts into something more productive.
The city itself is stunning, rich with art and history and a beautiful skyline. What I loved most though was Philadelphians’ loving energy and community-driven vibe. Since practicing yoga and becoming a yoga teacher, I am always encouraged by the part of the practice that’s all about seva, or service. We visited the Rooster Soup Co. and the Philly Yoga Factory, both of which give back to less fortunate populations. This is yoga at work. It is so important to be part of the world around us, to adopt an active role in our society and not be uninvolved. Being of service or simply supporting organizations that give back not only inspires personal growth, it also inspires others to do the same.