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A Week With Off the Mat, Into the World™
The sun has never once been too tired to get out of bed. Each morning, he rises with the strength and glory of a thousand flames. No matter how we are that day - anxious, exhausted, in love or in pain, at war with one another or at peace - he gives to us his light.
It is rare and disarming in life to experience this kind of grace. We are prone to be skeptical of unmerited kindness and generosity without strings attached. We learn to live life on the defensive because each one of us knows what it’s like to be let down, to be hurt. That kind of pain is hard to forget.
This, in part, is a gift. The ability to feel pain protects us. The burn we feel from touching a scalding oven instinctively tells us to remove our hand before we can even rationally think, “I should move my hand.” And it teaches us to be more careful around the oven next time. On a deeper level, painful experiences can also advise us to be more prudent about who we let into our world. But of course, pain has a dark side which each one of us knows all too well, unfortunately. Pain left unresolved doesn't eventually fade away with time. It lingers in our bodies, triggered unexpectedly by seemingly small circumstances. It affects our relationships and can wither our ability to live freely and fully.
Tucked inside a warm yoga studio aglow with the light of a midwest summer morning, a cluster of over sixty men and women sang like they had never sung before. Attendees of the Off the Mat, Into the World™ Leadership Training Intensive in Minneapolis led by the talented trio Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, and Suzanne Sterling, this gathering spent a week together discussing the story of pain and how it lives in our bodies, often in ways unbeknownst to us. We talked about the way trauma affects us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It has the power to leave us feeling mute and fearful. But it also has the power to make us strong. Through the combination of yoga asanas, mediation, experiential exercises, collaboration, and other tools, we learned that what breaks our heart is closely connected to our passion and specific purpose in this world. It is our very wounds that are the starting point of our service.
We sang out that Minneapolis morning as men and women who had found our voices again. We sang in prayer, in hope, unified yet distinct... As people who were stronger because of their pain, not in spite of it.
KiraGrace is a proud supporter of Off the Mat, Into the World™. It was such a privilege for us to offer scholarships to our Ambassadors this year for this intensive, and a treat to share the week with six members of our team. We will forever cherish our partnership with Off the Mat, Into the World™ and are always inspired by the beautiful work they do in the world.
Off the Mat, Into the World™ is a non-profit organization using yoga’s values of awareness, sustainability and service to empower activism from a grassroots level. Off the Mat uses an innovative toolkit to train, connect and guide new leaders to discover their purpose and create conscious social change. Tens of thousands of mobilized activists have raised over $2 Million through Off the Mat programs such as Global SevaChallenge, the Empowered Youth Initiative and YogaVotes. Off the Mat was founded in 2007 by three of the yoga community’s most well-known and influential teachers, Seane Corn, Suzanne Sterling and Hala Khouri. The organization is based in San Francisco, California as part of the non-profit Engage Network. Learn more about Off the Mat, Into the World™ and its success stories at www.offthematintotheworld.org
You can help us support this amazing team, too! 100% of the profits from the sales of the Warrior Yoga T-Back Tank from the KiraGrace Warrior Yoga Collection are donated to Off the Mat, Into the World's Project Springboard.
Also, we are thrilled to announce that our founder, Kira Karmazin, accepted the #ALSicebucketchallenge!! And through this weekend only, 100% of the profits of our super cute Flirt One Shoulder Tank in black and wildcat will be donated to ALSA (while supplies last). Get yours now!! Offer expires August 24th. Watch the video here.