Yoga Moves Us - Yoga in the Park
Agape International Missions Benefit
White House Easter Egg Roll - 2008 - 2016
Annually during the Obama Administration, the First Family hosted the White House Easter Egg Roll. Thirty five thousand lucky guests from across the nation gathered on the South Lawn of the White House for games, storytelling, entertainment and egg rolling and YOGA! The official theme in 2016 was “Let’s Celebrate!” In addition to all of the fun, the day’s activities encouraged children to lead healthy, active lives in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move!initiative.
Twenty yoga teachers from around the country volunteered their time to support the Yoga Garden activities. I have partnered with Leah Cullis to organize the Yoga Garden since 2008. Sharing the power of yoga for kids and families in America's backyard is an honor. Check out this video from 2014 for a glimpse into the magic of the day.
Traveling and teaching yoga is a dream. This past March, in partnership with Africa Yoga Project, I guided a team of 10 yogis from across the U.S. to create a transformative yoga experience for 21 aspiring South African yogi's. We spent 10 days in and around Cape Town immersing ourselves in the diverse culture, connecting with youth, and practicing and teaching yoga in all of it's forms.
- planted 20 trees at Levana Primary School
- trained 21 youth to become yoga teachers
- supported 1 South African Yoga Teacher to attend a 200-hour yoga teacher training
- raised funds to support yoga for 250 primary school children for one year
- linked 3 NGO's working in Cape Town: Ikamva Youth, GreenPop, and EarthChild Project
- created opportunities for U.S. yogi's to connect with likeminded human beings to experience the transformative power of yoga
- climbed mountains
- overcame fears
- inspired 10 yogi's to return to South Africa to continue Be The Light efforts
- poured foundation for expanding Africa Yoga Project to Cape Town
We intend to return in 2016 to double our efforts!
Sacramento Peace Day - September 21, 2014
Sacramento Peace Day - September 21, 2014
BY STEPHEN MAGAGNINI - SMAGAGNINI@SACBEE.COM
Visitors from Japan, Germany, Ireland and Egypt joined hundreds of Northern California residents at Capitol Park on Sunday to lend support to The International Day of Peace.
It was a day of expressing hopes for peace, both personal and global, and of finding inspiration in a labyrinth of shoes that would go to help fire victims.
The event, celebrated each year by millions worldwide, included prayers, songs, dance and poetry. High school performers from Matsuyama, Japan – Sacramento’s sister city – joined hands and linked arms at the International Rose and Peace Garden on the Capitol grounds with Hmong dancers and the Grant High School drum line.
“We also hope to build a safe haven Peace Park at Grant High School where kids can talk about peace,” said Wayne Hironaka of the Sacramento nonprofit I Am Peace, which brought the students from Japan and Sacramento together.
A few blocks to the north, dozens of others ran through a labyrinth of more than 400 pairs of sneakers. The labyrinth was designed to help people focus on their own peaceful intentions, said Jessica Micheletti of the Sacramento Peace Project.
“We’re donating the shoes collected by Fleet Feet to the victims of the Boles fire that burned 150 homes and structures in Weed,” Micheletti said. “Peace starts from the inside out, and we must cultivate peace within each of us for it to spread.”
When a majority of citizens in the United States and in other nations don’t want war, “we will have peace,” predicted Tina Wilks, a real estate broker and a member of the Sacramento Peace Project. “We’re not here to solve the world’s problems; we’re here to show peace is possible.”
After completing the Peace Labyrinth, people wrote goals for peace on a Wall of Intention.
“All we can do is recruit one person at a time,” said Caren Halvorsen, a Fair Oaks artist who encouraged people to share their hopes.
One lighthearted person called for “Whirled Peas” and depicted a blender. Others were intensely personal. One person wrote, “I wanna make peace with my sister” while another scripted, “I will make peace with my self-hatred, self-doubt and anything else keeping me from loving myself and others.”
That intention resonated with Heather Paladini, a 31-year-old mom from Roseville studying geology at Sierra College. She had just scampered through the labyrinth with her 4-year-old daughter, Aaryln. “I love this – it’s open, honest and genuine,” Paladini said.
Ruhina Hosse and her 6-month-old son Elias, both visitors from Hamburg, Germany, held a sign that read, “Go For Peace!” Hosse, a Muslim originally from Afghanistan, called the event a good reminder “to be peaceful for a few minutes, or a whole day.”
Leaders from Sacramento’s Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Baha’i faiths offered prayers for peace, affirming their belief that all people are part of the human family.
Nancy Merritt of the Peace Alliance in Oakland said she backs the creation of a Cabinet-level secretary of peace described in House Resolution 808.
“It would help shift resources from the military to combat domestic violence and bullying and save money for schools, health care and roads,” Merritt said.
At the Peace Garden, performers from Ehime University Senior High School in Matsuyama held aloft a banner featuring 131 Haiku – short, three-line poems – calling for world peace.
“People all over the world / hope everyone / will hold hands,” read one.
Using fans, they performed the Dance of The Doves to traditional Japanese string instruments. They were followed by another group of Matsuyama students who painted a giant poster in Japanese and English urging nuclear disarmament and featuring a peace sign.