Today’s guest post comes from Jessica King, a local yoga instructor.
I am honored to be writing a guest post for Peanut Butter Runner! I am Jessica King. I currently live in Concord, NC with my husband and two beautiful little boys, Parker, 5, and John, 10 months. We have two dogs, 3 fish, and a hermit crab. They all keep me busy! I have been a massage therapist for 11 years and a yoga instructor for 3 years. I have the same dual love of yoga and running as the PBR herself, and I have recently dipped my toe into the world of blogging. I have always enjoyed volunteering, working with charities, and finding ways to give back to my community. In this one blog post, you will see how all these things have collided into one big moment!
The past few months I have been working on organizing an event called Yoga Jam North. Yoga Jam North was an idea I had well over a year ago. As many of you Charlotte natives may know, Asana Activewear use to host Yoga Jam in South Charlotte. It was such a fantastic event and so fun! Unfortunately, many of the students in the North Charlotte area would not travel that far for yoga and other studios in our area were not always part of it because of the distance to the event. I spoke to several studios who were interested in something closer to “home”, and a local charity offered their space to host the event. I spoke with the previous owners of Asana Activewear, as well as activewearUSA.com. They agreed we should continue the spirit of Yoga Jam, and they were both invaluable with information and support. And, that gave birth to Yoga Jam North.
If you know me, you know that I have a very “open” 5th chakra – sometimes it is in balance, sometimes not. I think of these ideas, and I have to put them into action. I jump into the river with both feet before I check the strength of the current. Most of time this works out well for me; other times I have to paddle hard upstream. For example, I agreed to do my first half marathon when I had never ran over 2 or 3 miles at time and never on a consistent basis; and, I enrolled in yoga teacher training 2 days after the idea popped into my head (both were great decisions by the way because they ignited two passions that keep me driven today). On another note, I also thought it would be a great idea as a new mom to take my 4 month old in a back pack on hike that ended up being 4 miles long – needless to say I think you all know that was not a good idea.
Fortunately, Yoga Jam North seems to fall into the former category. We have received a fantastic response. I put the word out to a couple studios, and within weeks other studios were also calling me to be part of the event. We have actually expanded the concept. Now, not only is there a schedule of classes you sign up for with your registration, but there is also a schedule of demonstrations, lectures, and community classes, students can take advantage of on their breaks.
An amazing local foods caterer, Bocce Felice, helped make having a local, organic lunch possible by donating her time in food preparation. Local massage therapists are donating their time to give chair massage that day. And, so many companies have donated items to be raffled off at the event. All of this effort, time and money will benefit a local children’s charity, the Junior Charity League of Concord. They clothed over 1600 children just last year with NEW school clothes. This year that number will increase, and it is through the support of local fundraisers, grants, and the support of their community that they are able to do their amazing work.
Studios have been behind the concept, organizations and businesses have donated time and money to get it going, and students have started registering to support the cause. My cup runneth over. I can literally feel my heart expanding and smiling. It is a great feeling just to have an idea; to have a dream; to have a love of something. It is such another feeling to have it come to fruition. You probably know this feeling if you have had a baby. As you prepare those long 9 months to have this child growing inside you, you imagine how much you will love him or her. But, oh that day…that day you hold him in your arms…nothing can describe that kind of love. It is the ultimate in creating. Those little bundles were once just an idea in their parents head; then just a peanut inside the mommy; and, now I look at my 5 year and think, “oh my gosh, look at the amazing human you have become”.
So this baby – Yoga Jam North – that has been birthed recently is a little bit like that. It brings together my love of yoga and healing therapies, volunteering for charitable causes, drawing together people in a community for a greater good, and today I am blogging about it and a whole other group of people is listening! Heart expanding, big love and gratitude!
I read a quote recently by Tagore that said, “I slept and dreamt that life was service. I woke and saw that life is joy. I acted and behold, service was joy.” This says it all…
If you want to come to Yoga Jam North, AWESOME! Be sure to check out the website. If you cannot make it, remember… Don’t be scared to jump into the river with both feet. It has worked out well for me so far!
To all you Peanut Butter Runner fans out there, thanks for listening; and, to Jen, thank you for the opportunity to write.
To follow Jessica, visit her blog!