An inspirational update on Michael Joel Hall.
You might have read the first EJ post about MJH, or my breathless blog on Thursday, but now, over a week after Michael and his boyfriend were attacked and the yoga community—among others—stood up beside him, so what is going on?
All good things.
Last Sunday evening, Peg and I conspired to set up a few small yoga classes at local studios and then a larger class in the park. Today, we have a list of almost 40 classes (some studio listed having two or three locations) with the list posted on Washingtonian Mag, not to mention that our class in the park this Sunday has 450+ signed up!
A week ago, we hoped to raise a few thousand dollars. Today, we have not sat down and counted, nor do we have all the responses, but it looks like we are raising thousands!
One DC studio has already posted $1,800, at least one other studio rumors to have raised even more.
These numbers are amazing.
With over a dozen studios also donating classes, contributing any amount each, we will hopefully be able to put MJH’s worries—medical expenses, finding a new place and not being able to work while he heals—to rest. (BTW, a few questions have been posted about the fundraising effort, we are waiting to get word from all the events and to have time for our volunteers to tally up all the online donations, please give us a few days, if not until after the large event this Sunday to share our total.)
More than the numbers, the reports are coming back that some studios were simply “vibrating” the whole evening of the fundraiser.
That studio, Flow Yoga Center, took a photo of all the students after having donation classes in all 3 rooms, the photo speaks volumes.
The more I think about what’s changed in a week, the more I’m struck. We wondered if studios that didn’t know MJH would join the cause. Today we are getting donations from Canada, London and Wanderlust! Unsolicited, the amazing Seane Corn, wrote to MJH and said:
“I’m so sorry about what happened to you and your boyfriend. I can’t imagine how intense and overwhelming that experience must have been for the both of you. I have been very moved by the outpouring of support that you have been getting from your local yoga community and wanted you to know this care and concern extends beyond DC. I’m teaching at Wanderlust in Tahoe and we intend to make our Yoga Votes class/rally on Saturday evening a benefit for you. Me, Shiva Rae, Rod Stryker, Baron Babtiste, MC Yogi, etc. will be headlining the event. I hope you feel the outpouring of love and support that will be coming your way!! I wish you a speedy recovery and that you are back in the classroom teaching again very soon. I have no doubt this experience, and all the love that has followed, will impact deeply your teaching in the future. Much love to you and your partner, Seane.”
They raised $500.
How magical is our national/global yoga community when a teacher is attacked on Sunday in DC, and a week later Seane Corn is dedicating a session to him in California?
A week ago, we worried about how Michael would recover, if the operation would go well. Today? Well you could guess how a Pranified body is healing. Here’s what MJH wrote yesterday (Monday):
“On all things recovery, I’m doing darn well. My spirits have been super high as my pain has gotten progressively lower. Also pretty low? The swelling and bruising. The doctors don’t have to tell me I’m ahead of schedule for me to know its true, but they’ll get their chance on Tuesday. Its my first check up since being released. Being around the creature comforts of home (new though it may be) has helped in easing me physically and mentally. I’ve been surrounded by family and friends whilst also managing to eat every jello based concoction this house can produce (greek yogurt and lime jello for the win!).
Is it too crunchy to think that its gotta be all the love thats pouring out? Whenever I’ve been tempted to wallow in anything resembling self-pity, I’ve had someone saying something powerful and pertinent, about our community, about their love, not to mention about me. It’s helped me keep what my Dad calls PMA: positive mental attitude.
I’m left with optimism and enthusiasm at what our community looks like when it breaks down lines and barriers and comes together to manifest something powerful.
From the people on my couch to the people on their mats. From the UK to Puerto Rico to Pittsburgh to the Palisades all the way to the Main Stage at Wanderlust. White, Black, Gay, Straight, Blokes, Blondes, Moms, Military, Sivananda, Ashtanga. Yoga.
It’s something to see—and I just feel blessed (even if it took a punch or so in the noggin’ to get here).”
Michael is on the mend, people far and wide and sharing in the positive direction this is manifesting, fundraising is going well and we have put together a dozen DC teachers for the Sunday event. I’m not sure what else could bring these 12 together—Ashtangis, Rocket, Dharma, the list continues—but the mix will be fabulous.
Stay tuned, this will keep getting better!
Late breaking news, less than a day after this post was written we got confirmation that we are in the clear! See MJH’s post here!
Mike Graglia is a certified Dharma Mittra, Acro and Rocket yoga teacher based in DC. He has been teaching Yoga since 2006. He has taught classes in India, Greece, Bali, Turkey and Malaysia. He is so grateful for the chance to share what he has been taught by some incredible teachers in this life. Mike also practices Vipassana meditation and Thai Massage. Follow his blog at: www.MikeGraglia.com
Editors: ShaMecha Simms & Carolyn Gilligan