After the huge success of #Stretch4Syria Yogathon earlier this year, Hero Yoga returns with another exciting day of yoga and a summertime vegan picnic. All of this to raise funds to help feed Syrian families. Find out more about Hero Yoga and how to join the next event.
We are two longtime friends and yoga teachers. We started Hero Yoga the summer of 2015. We wanted to share our passion for yoga and the benefits it brings to practitioners, whilst also raising money and awareness for various charities. Our idea was to create pop-up charity events that connect yoga with great causes, so that our practice can make a difference to the world we live in.
We were inspired to set up Hero Yoga last year originally as a response to the tragic stories that we heard coming out of Syria, and the desperation that we were seeing on our screens every day. So many people, just normal people like us, fleeing their homes and lives, taking enormous risks to get to safety. These people have been left homeless, separated from family, friends and support, without shelter, warmth, clothing, or food. It is a catastrophe, and a human tragedy for millions of people. We just felt that if we could do something to help in any way, we had to.
In January this year we hosted our first event – the #Stretch4Syria Yogathon – and the response just blew us away. Over 180 yogis came to the Sobell Centre in North London and stretched for up to 6 hours. Together, and with the support of our family, friends, and volunteers, we raised close to £3000 for Syrian refugees.
Our next event is #Stretch4Syria Yoga Vegan Picnic which is being sponsored by Yoga Alliance. We are aiming to host an intimate, community-based event, inviting anyone who would like to stretch for the cause to come and join us for a two-hour workshop in Queen’s Park, London. The afternoon’s schedule includes a guided meditation, Hatha yoga and yoga nidra (guided relaxation), followed by a delicious and nourishing vegan picnic. The workshop is designed for all levels of ability, so everyone can join in, regardless of experience.
We are incredibly humbled and happy to have been awarded a grant from Yoga Alliance (USA) to host this event. Out of the hundreds of worldwide applications we were lucky enough to be one of the ten winners! This grant has been hugely helpful…it has helped us cover the costs of the event, enabling us to raise as much money as possible for the refugees.
All proceeds of the event – 100% of it – will be donated to four charities directly supporting refugees in camps and within Syria. You can know more about the charities we are supporting here: https://hero-yoga.com.
People have been very generous, and on the day, we have two amazing teachers donating their time to the cause – Katie Ray (TheYogaMethod.co.uk) and Beth Win (urbanyogamonkey.com).
We also have sponsorship from our wonderful supporters! So in addition to a brilliant afternoon of yoga, all attendees will also take home a small goodie bag of treats! Vita Coco will be providing free coconut water, whilst The Coconut Collaborative and Ombar will be supplying tasty treats. The great guys at the Movement for Modern Life online yoga platform will be giving a six week free membership. Our amazing friends at the revolutionary organic skincare brand Skin & Tonic will also be on hand with a little treat for the goody bag and the lovely folk at Lululemon Athletica have loaned us yoga mats for the day.
We feel today, in modern society, many people are more familiar with the physical side of yoga, so we wanted to create an event where attendees could experience the other areas of yoga such as meditation and yoga nidra. Even five minutes of meditation every day can have a hugely positive effect on your life. It’s a great way to restore balance and even better if you can do it amongst nature! So we think this will be a great class for experienced practitioners, as well as for complete beginners.
Yogic philosophy often links the physical and spiritual practice to eating plant-based foods. We wanted to show off our growing repertoire of vegan recipes, working alongside cook Rosie, who specializes in wholesome plant based dishes. Rosie has been serving up amazing vegan and vegetarian food for 30 years, and that’s a real testament to how good plant based foods can be! She started out in her café The Wishing Well, introducing her customers to food that really wasn’t widely available at the time, often using organic ingredients, long before it became fashionable to do so.
We shall serve really tasty, wholesome dishes that everyone can enjoy, whether they enjoy the vegan lifestyle that can comes alongside yoga, or not.
Our moto at Hero Yoga is ‘Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu’ a yogic mantra often chanted in Jivamukti yoga practice, meaning:
‘May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of our lives contribute to the happiness and freedom for all’.
As we grow in our knowledge and interest in yogic practice, and in the foods we need to feed our body to help us practice, we also become more aware of the sustainability of producing food and our impact on the environment, so this has really become key to our philosophy.
Come and meet Hero Yoga at:
#Stretch4Syria Yoga Picnic
25th June 2016, 14:30 – 17:30
The Bandstand, Queen’s Park, NW6 6SG
Get Tickets Here: www.hero-yoga.com
This post was written by Hero Yoga which is a collective created by Sophia and Maysa, two friends who both recently qualified as yoga instructors. Their purpose is to create pop-up charity yoga events, to raise money for people in need and spread a love of yoga and its benefits to practitioners’. For updates on the Stretch4Syria event, follow Hero Yoga on Twitter @heroyogaclub and Instagram @heroyoga .
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