Off The Mat, into New Jersey—Yoga for Hurricane Sandy Relief.
I was born and raised in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. A beautiful town surrounded by lakes. Lakes that often after a storm would swell and crest, flooding various areas to the point that roofs were covered and everything inside destroyed. I remember when I was six our own basement flooded; this was where my brothers and I played and kept our toys.
I recall sitting outside on the driveway, water running up to my calves and watching my dad frantically trying to pump water out of our home. My young, little mind uselessly hoping that my toys were safe and out of harms way. I cried helplessly, when days later my father and the neighbors carted out to the garbage, boxes of clothes, old records, furniture and my toys—soaking wet, covered in mud, silt and mold—completely unusable. I ran to my room bereft and inconsolable.
I remember later that day, a knock on my bedroom door, as Mrs. Milligan, from down the street, whose own home was on the lake and suffered even more damage than ours, sat on my bed, hugged me and gave me what would become my very first Barbie Doll. All was not better, but I felt her love and understanding of my “loss” and her compassion helped the healing of my young heart begin.
I share this story with you because it illustrates the kind of community I grew up in. When there were challenges, it was the neighbors who came out to lend a hand, cook some food, loan some clothes and console a child. It was in this spirit, as I watched helplessly Hurricane Sandy wreak havoc on my beloved home state, that I knew I wanted to help. I wanted to participate and serve in whatever way I could to help support those directly impacted by this disaster.
Off The Mat, Into New Jersey is a yoga benefit event to be held on December 22, 2012, at the Atlantic City Convention Center to raise money for the New Jersey Hurricane Relief Fund and Global Green to support them in their continued efforts to rebuild and restore New Jersey. This is a neighbor helping neighbor, grassroots, community driven effort to raise money, lend support and provide a space for healing, compassion and acknowledgment for all that has been lost and for all that can be rebirthed as a result.
We are asking for a $25 dollar minimum donation to attend, but no one will be turned away because of lack of funds. This class will be a space for prayer, inspiration, community and connection. You don’t even have to practice asana. There will be chairs available if you just want to come and be in the spirit of the experience. All are welcome.
Please read below for information about the event and other ways you can be involved to show your support.
I am so thankful to everyone who has been a part of making this happen, especially to the New Jersey/New York/Pennsylvania ground team, the OTM staff, and to all the other Jersey born teachers who will be teaching with me including Beryl Bender Birtch, Elizabeth Halfpapp, Fred DeVito and more.
Thank you all so much for all your continued support.
May we all feel the love and support of our community whenever the storm hits the land or the shit hits the fan. This is when we need each other most.
Much love, Seane
Off The Mat, Into New Jersey
Join Off the Mat, Into the World®, Exhale Mind Body Spa and the Atlantic City Alliance at the Atlantic City Convention Center (One Convention Blvd, Atlantic City, N.J.) on Saturday December 22, 2012, from 12-3 p.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.) as we come together through the mindfulness of yoga to support the NewJersey communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. There is a minimum donation of $25, although no one will be turned away.
The three-hour yoga session will kick off with a video and different speakers, including mayors of some of the most devastated areas, followed by a yoga practice led by New Jersey natives Seane Corn (co-founder of Off the Mat), Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp of Exhale Mind Body Spa and Beryl Bender Birch of The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. All proceeds from the event ticket sales will go directly to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund and Global Green USA.
Here’s how you can help!
1. Download the flyer here, and post and hand out as much as possible.
2. Encourage people to pre-register on the Exhale registration page (put in the correct date range, then click on the event on December 22nd to begin the process).
3. Check out, re-post and invite people from our official Facebook invite.
4. Take part in this healing practice from anywhere in the world by tuning in to the live-streamed class broadcasting through Studio Live TV. A minimum donation will be required to view the live stream class. Any additional donations can be made through Off The Mat, Into the World, which will be given to the Hurricane Relief Fund.
5. Teachers can donate a class towards this relief on Studio Live TV as well! A single class viewing is $25 and unlimited two week viewing of classes is $60. Sign up on studiolivetv.com/sandyrelief. If you are a yoga teacher in New York or New Jersey and want a class up, contact Eden: [email protected]
6. Exhale Spa AC will kick off the weekend with Winter Solstice Yoga on Friday, December 21, 2012, at Bask by Exhale at Revel Resorts. Join Core Fusion Co-Founders, Fred Devito and Elisabeth Halfpapp, at 6 p.m. in the O2 (located on the lobby level) at Revel Resorts and welcome the winter solstice with a night of music and yoga flow under the stars. Exhale Spa will donate all proceeds from the Winter Solstice Yoga class and a portion of all proceeds from the weekend spa therapies to relief efforts.
7. Show support by buying an original Off the Mat, Into New Jersey T-shirt, created by Live Breath Grow for only $15! At least $10 of each shirt will go to charity!
8. We need toys! Please bring one (or more) gently used (or new) plastic toy(s), with no missing parts and batteries if not included. Help make a child’s Christmas possible and keep plastic out of our landfills! Toys will be handled and delivered through a wonderful organization called Second Chance Toys.
9. We are having a silent auction and raffle at the event. With doors open at 10:30 a.m., you will have time to view and make your contributions. If you are interested in donating something, please contact Nicole at: [email protected]
10. Interested in volunteering? We still need people to help out! If so, please contact Megan and Elle at: [email protected]
11. Accommodations for this event have been negotiated at the Sheraton AC attached to the convention center for Friday, Dec 21 and December 22, 2012, for only $89/night!
Editor: Alisha Bull