Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yoga & Filmmaking, How "Healing Yoga for Wellness" Began

In February of 2010, I began working with a 9-year old girl who had recently recovered from surgery to remove a brain tumor... only she hadn't really recovered. She was have lasting effects from the surgery, so her family contacted me. Through support from friends, family and even strangers who heard about her situation, I was funded to work with her and her parents. When I was with her, we worked on breathing, swallowing and balancing. When I was with her parents, we worked on stress management. Getting the opportunity to meet and "play" with her and her parents changed my life in many ways. As I got to know them,

I learned that her father makes films for a living.

Around the same time, I met a fellow yoga teacher named Cindy Campbell, who runs a non profit organization called Human Connexus; I was deeply inspired by how her organization supports people who are facing medical emergencies by offering financial aid, so they can focus on what really matters. I told her I wanted to help. I offered yoga to her clients, but we quickly realized that these people are spending long hours in the hospital with their loved ones, and cannot plan to be at a yoga session. Help would need to be on their terms.

The idea of a video was born, as a tool for the caregivers to remain healthy during stressful time.

I immediately thought of my client and contacted him to see if he was interested. He was, and had many questions and ideas about it. I was impressed with his enthusiasm and we began making plans right away:

  • Calling on my students to play the roles in the video was the easiest part; they were eager and supportive and very willing. (I'm sure that's not always the case with "talent" on screen.)
  • I contacted people who I knew made beautiful music and asked if they would consider donating their talent to this project, and I was so moved when they said yes.
  • I asked the owners of Breathe Los Gatos if they would donate their space, because I knew it would look lovely when filmed.
  • I contacted several yoga clothing companies to see if they would consider costuming us. be present, a company based in Colorado, replied almost immediately with a yes. I was thrilled!

We rehearsed, filmed, edited, recorded voice over, collaborated on music, and - finally, made our video. It took 2 years from its inception to produce, but I feel it is a product I can be proud of. The funding I am asking for is mainly to pay the filmmaker, plus the cost of pressing the DVDs, packaging and shipping them out. Along with so many others, my hours dedicated to this project are voluntary.

At its roots is the idea of serving others, on their terms. 

When these videos are made, I will continue that idea. I will donate several copies to cancer centers and hospitals. Human Connexus will received a collection of the videos to distribute to their recipients, and a portion of every sale will go back to their organization.

Please help me get these videos made. The following link takes you to my Kickstarter page, where you can pledge any amount between $10-$1000 to help get this project funded and going. Share this post, or the link (or both), with anyone you know to help spread the word. Namaste.