Legend: BLUE-open, RED-closed, GREEN-by donation
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Sunday, May 21, 2006

for it is in giving that we receive

a couple of weeks ago, around the time i first heard about the yoga groove collective's youthAIDS benefit at yogaworks montana, i came across a flyer at sacred movement about a limited edition yoga, tribe and culture shirt for "off the mat into the world", seane corn's youthAIDS fundraising campaign. for every shirt sold, $10 was going to support AIDS education. it sounded like the perfect time for me to dole out some good money for a good cause. after all, i had always wanted to own a YTC tank ever since i first spotted someone wearing one at a maha class (where all yoga fashion trends seem to emanate) but i could never justify its price. not until now.

being the yoga fashionista that i sometimes think i am, i thought it would be cool if i could wear that fundraiser tank to the upcoming benefit. the problem was, none of the studios i had visited carried the shirt. not sacred movement, where seane teaches. not yogaworks, where the benefit was going to be held. in fact, it wasn't even sold at the yogatribeandculture.com online store. with the event date fast approaching, i ended up emailing the YTC folk for information. and they were nice enough to allow me to drop by their office so i could have the shirt right away.

this past saturday, i showed up at the benefit with my eggplant-colored tank... and found out that all the yogaworks employees were dressed in similar shirts. normally, it would be considered a major fashion disaster to be seen wearing the same outfit as anyone else, but in this case, it made me feel like i was part of an elite group. in fact, during seane's opening remarks, she acknowledged and thanked the two of us in the class who were wearing the shirt that evening. hmmm... maybe i crave attention a little too much?

as for the class, it was definitely a more intimate version of the one held at sacred movement the month before. the room was about half the size, so there were about half as many in attendance. the same four yoga instructors team-taught the class -- seane corn, hala khouri, ashley turner, and julian walker -- but this time, the musical contingent was smaller; it was suzanne sterling singing with her harmonium, accompanied by some guy (didn't catch his name) on a digiridoo. compared to the last event, there seemed to be more yoga asanas, less trance dance, and even less chanting. the tag-team yoga was fun, yet so intense that all the windows eventually had to be opened to let out the steam (and fortunately, there was lots of fiji water so we could rehydrate). but while i liked the fact that i didn't have to spend as much time improvising freeform movement, i was very disappointed that there wasn't as much musical entertainment as i had hoped there would be.

when the event came to a close, everyone was handed a goodie bag. mine contained an amazing selection of items: a yogaworks t-shirt (in a size small enough to fit me!), a yogaworks gift certificate for a week's worth of unlimited yoga classes at any location, the latest copy of yogitimes, a $10 dhaba gift certificate, $5 off a $30 purchase at the online hugger mugger store, a clif bar (courtesy of wild oats, perhaps?), and, get this, ANOTHER "off the mat into the world" tank (thankfully, in a different color)! the combined retail value of all the items easily exceeded the suggested donation of $25. and that didn't even include the complimentary wine and cheese that was served to us before and after class! i expected to receive a gift of some sort, but this was way more than i had hoped for!

it sure pays to give, doesn't it?