Yoga MalaYoga teachers and students of all ages and abilities

from the Seacoast area will be joining together for a three hour yoga class called the Yoga Mala. The fifth annual Adult Yoga Mala will be held at The Rivermill at Dover Landing on January 20, 2013 from 9am to noon. The Second Annual Kids Yoga Mala will take place at ChildLight Yoga studio in Dover, NH concurrently with the adult yoga mala.

Event coordinator Erin Ehlers of Yoga on the Hill states, “The Yoga Mala is an incredibly uplifting experience. All shapes, sizes, ages and styles of yoga students attend. A three hour class can be challenging, but we encourage our students to do what they can, and to remember that our reason for gathering is to make sure Seacoast families can eat and stay warm this winter.”

The class consists of meditation, 108 Sun Salutations, and chanting as taught by 19 area yoga teachers. Sara Curry, a participating teacher from Bikram Yoga Portsmouth, says, “It’s amazing to gather this many talented yoga teachers for one class. The energy is incredible.”

Last year, the event raised $12,000 for (H)EAT. “This year, I expect we can exceed that goal, because we are reaching out further and involving more teachers and yoga studios. Our goal is $20,000,” said Ehlers. “This is the Seacoast’s largest yoga event, over 200 students attended in 2012.”

“The Seacoast yoga community is very passionate about food access issues. Area yogis are quick to help when they’re reminded that people in our towns struggle to keep their families fed,” Ehlers explained.
Half of the proceeds from this years event will go to the (H)EAT project, run by Seacoast Local, which is then distributed to food pantries and community action committees. The other half will be donated to Seacoast Eat Local’s program to offer SNAP at area farmer’s markets.

Sarah Jacobson, SNAP coordinator at Seacoast Eat Local explains, “SNAP is the electronic version of federal food assistance. When food stamps switched to the debit card version, farmers’ markets could no longer accept federal food assistance without a debit card machine. Seacoast Eat Local has initiated a project that ensures area farmers markets are able to include customers who use SNAP. The payment goes directly to the farmers, so it keeps the money in the local economy.”

This year’s Yoga Mala even offers a class for kids. ChildLight Yoga in Dover will have an all-age kids’ class to run during the event. ChildLight Yoga director Lisa Flynn says, “We’re looking forward to having kids participate. This way, parents can do the Yoga Mala while their kids are a few blocks away doing a fun class of kids’ yoga and activities fr a $25 donation.”  Pre-registration is required.

The event is supported by area sponsors, such as The Rivermill at Dover Landing, who donated the space to the event. New England Printing and Copying donated the printing of the posters.

To take part in the Yoga Mala:

First, register online and be sure to list your home studio. Then, print out a pledge form to
collect pledges in addition to your registration fee. Donations can be
made online, or checks made to (H)EAT and cash can be brought to the
event. Ask your family, friends and co-workers to support you in keeping
the Seacoast nourished and warm this winter! Great yoga prizes will be
awarded to the top 3 fundraisers! All proceeds will go directly to (H)EAT and to Seacoast Eat Local’s campaign to bring SNAP to area farmers’ markets.