as for me, all my money seems to go to anything yoga-related. classes, clothes, concerts, cds. i'm afraid to add up all the receipts i've accumulated just in the past year; it might just confirm that i need to check into the nearest yogaholics anonymous meeting pronto :(
take my obsession with yogitoes skidless towels, for example. recently, while folding up my laundry, i realized that i had not just one, nor two, but SEVEN of them!
it started innocently enough. i was tired of slipping and sliding all over my mat, so i saved up my money (which was hard to do while living off unemployment) and used my volunteer discount to help me pay for my first yogitoes: a blue one. for the throat chakra, communication and self-expression. i had just started blogging at the time, so it sounded like the perfect one for me. but with my daily practice, having just one wasn't enough. i mean, there's no way i'd reuse a towel that had been drenched with sweat the day before... ewww...
before i knew it, i was finding all kinds of reasons to "reward" myself with a new skidless towel -- a new job, a better paying job, a special occasion. my collection started to grow. i bought a green one (heart chakra for love and compassion), a purple one (third eye chakra for psychic perception), and then a pink one (to kick in $5 for the breast cancer research efforts of the dr. susan love foundation). four seemed like a good place to stop, so i did.
then yogitoes came out with their "eco" colors. and like the slave to fashion that i didn't think i was, i ended up coveting the "moss" towel, not because of what it supposedly signified (kaivalya: absolute freedom, spiritual growth), but because it helped me imagine that i was doing yoga outdoors on the grass, under a bright summer sky. after a particularly fun day doing acroyoga in the park, i broke down and bought that grassy-green one. i do have to give myself credit for restraining myself from also getting the "sand" towel; after all, yoga on the beach is pretty fun, too! that one more made five.
then came the global mala last september. and the orange limited edition. at least i didn't have to pay for it; i "earned" it by volunteering three days at the event. so what's that now? oh, six.
sometime later, at an exhalesoul fundraiser at sacred movement, i spotted the exclusive exhale edition. brown with mint green trim. whether or not the money went to exhalesoul, i wanted one, especially since i consider the exhale location in venice to be my home turf. i could now flash the colors of my homies. yeah. and now there were seven. one for each day of the week.
i was just fine until sometime last month, when i spotted a whole new crop of yogitoes colors at harmony yoga in redondo beach. and i drooled. instead of the usual orange trim and orange drishti dot, these towels were edged in gold. and in the place of the familiar dot was the golden visage of a deity. ooooh! luckily for me, class was about to start, which saved me from making that purchase...
two weeks later, i saw them again, this time at yogaworks in larchmont. and i found out that a portion of the proceeds go to charities around the world. i wanted one. i craved one. i yearned for one. but i held fast and kept my wallet zipped up securely in my purse. i patted myself on the back when i successfully left the studio without that new acquisition. and then promptly popped into the pinkberry next door to console myself with a coffee frozen yogurt topped with bananas. argh.
and then it happened. last saturday, while walking past the power yoga studio on 2nd street in santa monica, i caved in. not only was i confident that they would have the color i wanted (after all, i'd spent many of my volunteer hours there stocking shelves with rainbows of yogitoes), but i knew that i could get it cheaper there than at any other place in town. minutes later, i emerged with my prized purchase:
GANESHA (Teal towel with gold trim)
The God of knowledge, wisdom and wealth. Lord of success and destroyer of all obstacles.
A portion of 'GANESHA' proceeds go to YOGA ED.
Yoga Ed. develops health/wellness programs and materials that utilize the physiological, emotional, and educational benefits of yoga and creative play, and distributes them to children, teachers and parents through schools and communities nationwide. yogaed.com
not only had i attended a yoga ed fundraiser with hala khouri last year, but i also have a fondness for ganesha, the half-boy, half-elephant deity, the remover of obstacles. plus i couldn't help but notice that the color scheme was somewhat similar to the blue and gold of my alma mater, UCLA. go bruins! :)
eight is enough. or so the TV series title goes.
the charities for the other colors in the series are just as worthy; in fact, i'd been to yoga fundraisers for some of them, too, like the one in 2006 with ted mcdonald for the chandler sky foundation and the one held just yesterday with missy costello for the tunahaki foundation. so does this mean there are at least two more in my future? i'm not making any promises.
by the way, here's a rundown of the other skidless towels in the deity line; maybe you'll find yourself gravitating towards one of them, too:
KRISHNA (Bronze towel with gold trim)
The supreme person, the Godhead, teaching salvation through selfless action, knowledge, and devotion of God.
A portion of 'KRISHNA' proceeds go to The Chandler Sky Foundation.
Casa de Milagros (Home of Miracles) is a children's home in the Sacred Valley near historic Machu Picchu, Peru. It was founded by the Chandler Sky Foundation to heal the mind, body and spirit of many of the thousands of orphaned and abandoned children living in poverty on the streets of Cusco, Peru and surrounding towns. chandlersky.org
LAKSHMI (Crimson towel with gold trim)
The Goddess of light, beauty, good fortune and wealth. Signifying loveliness and grace.
A portion of 'LAKSHMI' proceeds go to The TunaHAKI Foundation.
TunaHAKI Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization which empowers orphans and vulnerable street children in Africa to become self-reliant, thus ensuring basic human needs, including food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care, and the right to a secure future. tunahaki.org
KALI MA (Black towel with gold trim)
The Black Goddess that takes away the darkness from every devotee who strives in the path of perfection.
A portion of 'KALI MA' proceeds go to the Mary Ellen Gerber Foundation.
The MEG foundation opened its doors on June 3rd, 1997, and has been in India since 2000. The mission of the foundation is to help in the caring of orphans and children in need. In its 2 villages, Puri and Visakhapatnam, established by the foundation, it lodges, nourishes and schools 200 children to prepare them to obtain a worthy occupation. Since the recent tsunami the foundation has also cared for an additional 650 children. megfoundation.org
VISHNU (Tan towel with gold trim)
A peace-loving Deity, sustainer of life with the principles of order, righteousness, and truth.
A portion of 'VISHNU' proceeds go to The Ravi Shankar Foundation.
The Ravi Shankar Foundation in California and The Ravi Shankar Centre in New Delhi (also known as RIMPA) have been established to collect, document and archive the vast works of Ravi Shankar, which are fragmented all over the world. They are also committed to posterity the artistic and creative energy that this unique musician has still to offer. It is a dedication to awaken the consciousness of people to help towards the preservation of the diversity of cultures and richness of their art and the aesthetic and ancient traditions of the past and present. The dream is to support the freedom of artistic creativity and to help in the collaboration and exploration of world music, performing arts and work for universal Peace and Harmony through music. ravishankar.org