Doing handstands and headstands is all well and good, but as yogis we also need to think about how we can make a difference in the lives of others. Here in New Jersey we have a wonderful opportunity to step up to the front of our mats and attend this year’s Global Mala, a worldwide “peace wave” initiated by renowned yogini Shiva Rea five years ago to help promote peace and raise awareness of some of the world’s most serious issues, such as AIDS, cancer, poverty, the environment, education, and war. This year’s NJ event will be held from 9 a.m to 2 p.m. at Central High School in Newark on Sunday, September 18, so mark your calendars now and head here to register: http://www.globalmalanj.org.
Maybe you thought I was just being clever by using that “step up to the front of your mat” image. But in truth, yogis and yoginis at this event will be doing a combo-total of l08 rounds of Sun Salutations and yoga poses (108 is the number of beads on a mala, and the number also has many other spiritual meanings) all to live music performed by such extraordinary musicians as Dalien aka 13 Hands (http://13hands.com) and Go- Ray & Duke (http://www.yogaorganix.com). The state-of-the-art high school venue with two gymnasiums will be hopping with great vendors, healthy and delicious food, chair massage and thai massage, and exciting activities for kids including yoga, drumming, art, and inspiration from The Street Doctor (http://www.thestreetdoctor.com).
NJ Global Mala organizer, aka “Peace Igniter,” Debby Kaminsky (http://www.debbyoga.com) was asked to spearhead the event by Shiva Rea five years ago, and it just keeps getting bigger and better. This year, Debby, who among many other things teaches at The Karuna Shala in Glen Ridge (http://wwwthekarunashala.org), is expecting close to 350 yogis and 200 kids. There will also be many guest teachers and speakers (including Mayor Cory Booker, and teachers Tara Stiles, Tao Porchan-Lynch, Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito, among others). Check the Global Mala website above for updates and details.
Proceeds from the event will be distributed to a number of local and global charities, including the All Stars Project NJ, Barat Foundation, Kula for Karma, Lotus in Action, Newark Interfaith Coalition for Hope and Peace, Newark Yoga Movement and others. You can also earmark your donation for the charity of your choice (minimum donation is $27, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds, and the first 200 to sign up receive gift bags filled with yogi-treats worth over $300). As a special feature this year, children will be asked to bring their spare change and will get to decide on the charity to which they’d like to collectively donate, Debby says.
An awesome raffle is also planned: Grand prize items include a two-night stay at Kripalu (http://kripalu.org), a one-night stay at the Gansevoort Park Hotel (http://www.gansevoortpark.com/) and 10 Classes at Exhale (http://exhalespa.com).
So! Are you going to Global Mala? Sounds like a yogic “no-brainer” to me! (Is there such a thing?) But what could be better than spending a day surrounded by wonderful yogis and yoginis, listening to great music, doing fun poses, buying cool stuff, and all for the cause of helping others in need?
As Debby says, “It’s a privilege and an honor to be able to help foster something that is so much needed in our own backyard as well as in the world. Every single person has the power to make a difference.” So spread the word, and hope to see you there! The event is open to all.