Reflections on 2013
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
At the start of 2013, Moonflower Yoga was still in its infancy. Since then, the studio has grown significantly. So many students have walked through the front door of Moonflower Yoga. A lot of these were students who never tried yoga before but were coming to Moonflower Yoga to experience their first class, and I am very proud that they chose Moonflower Yoga. These students liked the small-class setting with personal attention, had a great yoga experience, and have become regular students of the studio.
Moonflower Yoga has accomplished many other positive things in 2013:
Our class schedule has grown to offer many options to our students so that people of all experience levels have a great place to practice. Tai Chi and Meditation classes are amongst the newer classes.
We launched lots of interesting workshops on a variety of topics where people learned something new and had a fun evening.
Our Moonflower Yoga Picnic at Eisenhower Park was a blast, and we had perfect summertime weather.
Moonflower Yoga was the only yoga studio selected to give a yoga demo at the annual Nassau County Health and Wellness Fair.
Corporate yoga has been added to the slate of offerings at Moonflower Yoga where a Moonflower Yoga instructor goes to a local office and introduces yoga as part of a corporate wellness program.
We were able to give back to the community and help those in need with several charitable events. Our children’s storytelling workshop raised money for the Make A Wish Foundation. The film screening on the life of BKS Iyengar helped support the Iyengar Institute which brings yoga to many. For Thanksgiving, we helped feed 800 hungry families. And at the at end of 2013, we collected over 60 toys for the Toys for Tots program run by the USMC which donates toys to children who would not otherwise receive a holiday present.
We had another successful weekend at the Bellmore Family Street Festival where over 100,000 people from all over came to Bellmore.
But most important of all is our relationship with our students. I feel truly blessed each day as I greet the students arriving to attend our classes. Watching students enter the door feeling stressed from the day, and then watching them leave at the end of a great yoga class more refreshed and at peace, brings me a sense of joy knowing that we were able to help someone feel better. I am so grateful to the students, as well as my great staff of teachers, for making Moonflower Yoga a very special place. I can look back on 2013 with a smile, and I know the future will be even better. Thank you to everyone for your support!
If you are in the area of Bellmore, New York, in Nassau County on Long Island, please stop by and see us. Join us as we launch another fabulous year!
Practicing Aparigraha and Giving to Others
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
The holiday season is quickly approaching. We are bombarded with messages about things we should purchase and special sales. As I listen to all of this, I think about the principles outlined in the yoga sutras, the basis on which our yoga system is built. In the “yamas” portion of the yoga sutras, one of the sutras refers to “aparigraha” which means being content with what we have and abstinence from greed. Do we really need another handbag, tv set, game, etc., or can we be happy with what we have?
It was a little over a year ago that Superstorm Sandy hit the Long Island area. We lost lives on that terrible day. Many people lost their homes and possessions. One of the lessons of Sandy is that it gave us an appreciation of what is really important – being safe and having our friends and families. Earlier this month, a horrible typhoon hit the Philippines killing thousands of people and causing unbearable destruction. We watch in horror at the reality that so many families have lost loved ones.
And back here in New York, there are families who do not have enough food to eat each day or people who are homeless with no place to sleep and no food. With the holidays coming, I also think about children and what a joyous time the holidays can be. Yet for some, their families cannot afford food and there is no money for a small holiday gift for a child.
At Moonflower Yoga, we want to do our part to bring some joy to families in our area this year. We have been part of an ongoing food drive, working with two of Moonflower’s students, Veronica and Luther, to collect food for the hungry. Last year the food drive yielded food for 600 hungry families. This year the goal is to feed 800 families. I’m proud that we have filled three large boxes with non-perishable food to help this cause. At the same time, we are working with the US Marine’s Toys for Tots program to bring a toy to a needy child this holiday season who might not receive one. Last year we collected 50 toys for Toys for Tots, and we are looking to exceed that number this year.
Any help that you can give to a food drive, Toys for Tots, or a charity of your choice is always welcome. I go back to the yoga philosophy of aparigraha. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself: “Do I really need this thing I’m buying or do I already have enough?” If you have enough, could you instead donate a portion of that money to a worthwhile charity to help someone who is need? The reward from knowing that you helped someone can be amazing!
From all of us at Moonflower Yoga in Bellmore, in Long Island’s Nassau County, we thank you for your generosity.
Helping Those in Need
Written by Nancy Weshkoff
As the weather starts to turn cooler, I begin to realize that the holiday season is just around the corner. And as the holidays approach, I am reminded of those who sadly are in need. One of the most important things we study as yoga teachers is “ahimsa” which means to be kind. We must be kind to ourselves but we also must be kind to others.
Moonflower Yoga is based in Bellmore, Long Island, New York. Many think of Long Island as a wealthy area. It is true that Long Island has some affluent towns such as the Hamptons where celebrities and high-salaried executives and professionals flock in the summer. But not every town on Long Island is the Hamptons.
In doing some research, it came to my attention that each day over 300,000 people on Long Island do not have enough food to eat. This is a very sad statistic. There is something that we can do to help this situation and that is to donate some non-perishable food items to those in need. Moonflower Yoga is committed to help our Long Island community, and this is why we are sponsoring a food drive for Long Island Cares the Harry Chapin Food Bank. Long Island Cares needs non-perishable foods to distribute on Long Island. But they also need things for children such as diapers, formula, baby cereal, and school supplies. And there are cats and dogs that need food as well.
There are children who will not know the joy of opening a toy at Christmas time. Christmas is a magical time, and all children should receive something special to help remember the holiday. It is with this intention in mind that Moonflower Yoga is also sponsoring the US Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots program. Under that program, unwrapped and new toys are collected and distributed by the US Marines to children in families that cannot afford to purchase holiday gifts.
If you live in the area of Bellmore, you can drop off donations at the Moonflower Yoga studio for Long Island Cares and/or the Toys for Tots program. We have boxes at the Moonflower Yoga studio to collect the items for those in need. You can also make donations directly by visiting the websites of these wonderful charities: www.licares.org and www.toysfortots.org.
And remember that kindness begins with just one small step. If each person donated a small amount of food, we could drastically reduce the number of people who do not have enough food to eat. By donating a new toy to a needy child for the holidays, you are bringing joy and a happy memory to that child and their families. That is ahimsa in action.