EP23 Yoga Reaches Out with Sarah Gardner
"What started as a small fundraising idea in Boston has now spread throughout the U.S. raising millions of dollars to support the well-being of children in our local and global communities." YRO
Sarah Gardner and the Yoga Reaches Out community are changing lives one breath at a time. What started as a small fundraising idea in Boston has now spread throughout the U.S., raising millions of dollars to support the well-being of children in our local and global communities. It was great to catch up with Sarah and a reminder to myself that I NEED to get more involved this year!!
- What is Yoga Reaches Out? [7:47]
- All day “yogathon” which originally started in the Boston area is all day event details [10:13]
- Sarah shares her life goal of how this yoga community represents why she is really here and that to her it’s about helping others [13:38]
- She shares her prior experiences before Yoga Reaches Out [15:42]
- Sarah discusses how two experiences: yoga and her work at Landmark were really the changing points in her life [17:08]
- First “yogathon” at Gillette Stadium [17:57]
- First “yogathon” was back in September 2010 and raised about $150,000 for Boston Children’s Hospital. Next one is in May 2016 [18:58]
- Sarah shares her connection to Boston Children’s Hospital [20:16]
- Discussion of any hurdles or fears that got in the way of things [21:10]
- Her mission and how it inspired her [22:53]
- She continues on with how she wished it didn’t take her 40 years to feel what it is like to give back to others [25:01]
- Kid yogathons currently just in the Boston area [25:59]
- What’s coming up for Yoga Reaches Out [27:29]
- If you are interested in Sarah’s mission and opening your own chapter [29:37]
- If you want to participate as a team or be a leader [31:31]
- Advice for people wanting to pursue a dream [33:24]
- Words of wisdom in believing yourself and nothing is perfect in life [36:37]
- Explains how the lifestyle of yoga changed her life [38:08]
- Sarah shares her method of meditation [41:09]
- Recommends Open, Andre Agassi autobiography [43:20]
You’re listening to The Business of Life podcast. Practical advice for creating the life you love to live. Here’s your host, Keith Callahan.
KC: Welcome to The Business of Life Podcast Episode number 23. Keith here and as always just grateful to have you here, grateful to have you listening in and I could not be doing this without you. So, we have an amazing guest on today. We have Sarah Gardner. Sarah is the Founder of Yoga Reaches Out. It’s a non-profit organization that helps charities through running yogathons. I think I got that correct. Yeah, I was going to say yoga-a-thon but, yeah, yogathons and, you know, they’ve donated over 1 million dollars to charities like the Boston Children’s Hospital, the Africa Yoga Project, Children’s Tumor Foundation, the YMCA and really it’s a, she’s put together a community of thousands of yogis who are coming together and they’re doing a day of yoga together and really just helping out the community, helping out each other, helping out the children. So, it was awesome to be able to talk to her and you’re going to get a lot out of this episode and I think the number 1 thing that I got out of it and, you know, I’ve been talking to a few different people in the yoga community over the last couple of weeks and it’s just really how they’re leading with the heart and serving others selflessly. So, you’re going to learn a ton about Yoga Reaches Out, about the foundation, about what they’re doing, about the people that are involved, about how you can get involved. But, there’s also if you really pay attention, there’s a lot of nuggets in there with the words that Sarah shares on her journey to creating this. So, I know you’re going to enjoy the episode. Before we jump into that I just wanted to mention 2 quick things. The first thing, we’ve made a lot of changes over the last couple of weeks to the podcast and I’d love to hear what you think about it, what you think about the changes that we’ve made and I’ve set up over on the website, if you go to KeithCallahan.com and then just scroll over the podcast section, there is an Ask Keith button. So, just scroll over that, click on that and you can actually leave a voice message and we’re going to start featuring these messages if you want to If you don’t want to, just say you don’t want to be featured in the podcast. But, we’ll be featuring some of them and, yeah, I really want to hear what you think about the last couple of people that we’ve had on and the direction that the podcast is going. It means a lot to me and I want to make sure that I’m providing the best information for you and bringing on the best guests for you. I also wanted to mention, I have a really something huge that I’ve been working on. So, for over the last 6 years, I’ve taught 23,000 plus people, really how to create a life and I never put it into a usable framework. So, we are in the process of finalizing a beta test course. It’s 13 recorded modules and it’s called Owning the Dash. And, the dash is the dash between your birth date and your death date. So, you know, on the tombstone, that little dash, right. And, I feel like so many people want to make change in their lives but in all honesty, a lot of people keep slamming their heads against the wall and fail over and over and what this course does is it’s going to teach self-motivated people, you, who are maybe a little bit lost, a little bit without direction to become clear and empowered and unstoppable and here’s my favorite part and eventually be in the stories others tell. Just like we’re, you know, we’ve got Sarah on and we’re hearing her tell her story. So again, it’s called Owning the Dash. This is free for a very limited time because we’re beta testing it and the modules are going to be things like overcoming fear, anxiety and limiting beliefs, how to really pray, surrendering, praying through, praising through, mastering your spiritual muscle, how to consciously have a paradigm shift through what I call Imagineering and so much more. Really, it’s to take you from, it’s to help you to really realize that dream that’s been tucked away for years that we sort of put away and help you, not only to resurface that but to give you a framework to bring it out. So, in order to get access to that, go to the website, OwningtheDash.com. So again, that’s OwningtheDash.com. It’s available in beta test for free for a very, very limited time. So, swing over there if you are interested and if you know, anyone else who’s interested, be sure to give them the link as well. Alright, so without any further ado, let’s get Sarah on. You’re going to enjoy this.
INTERVIEW WITH SARAH GARDNER
KC: Okay. So, I am excited to introduce today’s guest, Sarah Gardner. Sarah, welcome to the show.
SG: Thank you so much, Keith. I’m thrilled to be here today.
KC: This has been a conversation or an interview that I’ve been looking forward to and I have so many questions that I’ve really been looking forward to asking you, like deep questions. But, I have a simple one to start. Who did the beautiful yoga Reaches Out website? It’s just unbelievable.
SG: Oh gosh, thank you. We’ve had such a progression with our website and, you know, it’s kind of like, you know, starting up a company, starting up a non-profit. You go through a lot of different stages and I’ve had amazing people donate their time and just recently, yes, Chris Lucas, who is on our board, used to work with the Baptist Corporation. He did our website and most recently, I mean we just updated it and he did a beautiful job. So, thank you for noticing and thank you for saying that because I’m very proud of it and I’m very grateful to him for his work.
KC: Yeah and is he with the company Transition?
SG: Yes, exactly, yes.
KC: Okay, yeah, I saw that at the bottom. So, for anyone, if you go to Yoga Reaches Out, we’re going to talk more about what it is but you just have to check out this website. It’s beautiful and they just, like they did everything with the video, the pictures, it’s mobile responsive and it’s just a beautiful site.
SG: Yeah, it’s a great company as well and I know that many people within transition helped as well. So, you know, huge kudos and shout out to them for all they did. Yeah, it just went up not that long ago. So, I’m excited about it.
KC: Cool. And, for everybody listening we’ll link to Transition’s site in the show notes as well. So, this sort of leads right into the first deeper question. Tell us, tell us a little bit about Yoga Reaches Out and, you know, sort of “What is Yoga Reaches Out now?” And then, we can sort of dive into the journey and the creation of it.
SG: Sure. So, now, and that is 6 years later, Yoga Reaches Out is a non-profit that has gone national and really, to its core, what it is, is community. It’s bringing yogis together, giving them a platform to do what they love to do but take it to a whole ‘nother level and that is, that’s the portion of it that really makes it so meaningful and that’s the seva, which means selfless service, and that’s about giving back and, you know, really putting yourself into a place that you know that you’re contributing to this world and making a huge difference. And, Yoga Reaches Out raises funds for children’s charities, both locally, nationally and globally. And, you know, I love to hear stories about the way people, the way the event, the way the organization makes them feel and I’ve heard everything from “Gosh, you know, I could never run a marathon but I get to do this. This is something that I really, I’m able to do, I love to do and it makes me feel so good. You know, we’ll talk more about the event, I’m sure Keith, but it’s like you can’t put it into words. It really is a day where it’s all about love and it’s all about celebration. It’s all about bringing people together and, you know, having a really good time but also being of such purpose, being such purpose on your mat and knowing that you have contributed and worked really hard to fund raise and to just go out to your friends, to your family and say “You know, this is what I believe in. This is who I’m raising money for. This is what I’m doing and I would love your support.” And, it’s just, it really is a magical day.
KC: So, and I know that I’m going to over simplify this because I know that there’s an insane amount of work that goes into it. But, from an outside person looking in, it’s really like the big thing that you do is once a year in, we’re in a, you’re in a few different regions now. We can talk a little bit more about that, but once a year you guys do this huge event and it’s a fundraising event right? Like, it’s a day of yoga that’s raising money for charities.
SG: Right, exactly. So, it started here in the Boston area and it is a “yogathon”. So, it’s an all-day yoga event. There’s about 4, 4 and a half hours of yoga throughout the whole day but it’s not something that only advanced practitioners can be a part of by any stretch. We have all levels at the event. People can do as much as or as little of it as choose and what happens is that each person will register for the event, $25 to register and then commit to fundraising here in Boston, a minimum of $250. And then, the money raised is supporting, here in Boston, Boston Children’s Hospital and then a secondary beneficiary as well. We raise funds for organizations like the Africa Yoga Project for the YMCA, for the Children’s tumor foundation, the Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, so many different children’s charities having to do with the health, wellness and well-being and education of kids. So, the event is usually from 9 to 5 and we’ll have local presenters teach one way after the other in the morning. So, it’s about 2 hours of yoga in the morning. And then, we have a lunch break. We have live music. We have an amazing marketplace, great food. And then, in the afternoon, we have a lead presenter that comes from different areas around the country. We’ve had great teachers like Baron Baptiste, Rolf Gates , Ana Forrest, Bryan Kest, Baron Baptiste, Seane Corn. And so, they will come and teach the afternoon portion and that’s 2, 2 and a half more hours of yoga and it just, was just a very meaningful day that is a lot of fun. I mean I’ve had people say it’s like, you know, Christmas for yogis. It’s a lot of fun.
KC: I actually can’t believe that you and I have been connected for like 3 or 4 years and I can’t believe that I’ve never been to…
SG: We would love for you to come, Keith.
KC: The New England one. I know, we have to make, I have to make, you know what, I’m chuckling as we’re saying this. I need to stop having kids because all 4 of our kids now have been born in the winter so it’s and I live 3 hours away so it’s like when it, because it’s in the spring, right?
KC: Yeah, yeah. So, every year it’s been in the spring and we’ve just been a little crazy around our household but hopefully this year I’ll be able to get out there. I know I have tons of friends who go and everybody just sort of raves about it, you know. So, the 3 last or 3 of the recent podcast episodes are teachers that teach there with Danny Dwyer, Jackie and Rolf Gates and, yeah, it’s just been, I’ve heard so much about it and I’ve also seen the numbers that have been posted with the amount of money and the amount of giving that you guys are doing and it’s just, it’s amazing.
SG: Thank you. I mean we definitely work really hard. I like to say I’ve never worked harder but I’ve never been happier. It really is about why we’re here and that to me it’s about helping others. So, it’s so much fun. I mean I wake up every day and I’m like I get to do what I love to do. So, this is awesome and I had an idea but it really, it’s totally not about me, it’s about the yoga community, the business community and, you know, really embracing the idea and taking it on and making it their own and that’s one thing that I’ve loved about the growth of the organization is that somebody is saying Albany, New York or in Columbia, South Carolina where we just had an event, says “Gosh, look what they’re doing in Boston and I want to do this in my community and then, you know, with a lot of love and support, we helped them but we empower them to really make it their own and to become the chairs of the event and to put together a committee and run with it. So, it’s been a beautiful thing to watch and to be a part of.
KC: So, I want to sort of switch gears a little bit because one of my favorite parts about this piece of my job, really I have like the coolest job ever.
SG: That’s great.
KC: Like, I get to interview people like yourself and one of the things that I love about it is I get to continually learn and I guess this is going to be a multi-part question but when you were first conceiving the idea, like this is a massive thing. This isn’t, I look at even the stuff that I do and it’s like me and it’s always these mom and pop, like I consider myself like a mom and pop type business but this is a huge thing that you put together. Did you have experience doing events like this, prior to starting Yoga Reaches Out?
SG: Zero. I have Master’s of Education in Health and Fitness. You know, my background is personal training, so no, I mean I did back in 2009, I did work with an organization called Landmark Education, the Landmark Forum and the advanced course and if you’re not familiar with Landmark. And, if you’re not familiar with Landmark, they’re all over the world and it’s a 3-day large workshop, like you know, 100 people and you really learn about who you are, where you’ve been and what your purpose is in this world and what your possibilities are that you want to create. And, I mean it’s really true but it took me 40 years to realize that it’s not about me and when I realized that, I was like “Oh my gosh, then why am I here. What am I doing?” And, it was very in my face, like very easy to realize that I was all of sudden, it’s not about me, it’s about helping others. And so, then I laughed because I was driving down 128 and I basically said out loud to myself “I want to have a Yogathon at Gillette Stadium and I want to raise money for kids.
KC: So, at this time you were like practicing yoga and you were, okay.
SG: Right, exactly. Yeah, so I had been practicing for about 10 years at this point and yoga, it completely changed my life. So, along with the work I had done with Landmark and then my practice, the 2 together really were the changing points in my life to say that I needed to think large and to really make an impact. And so, when I came up with the idea, you know, I shared it with my family and they were completely onboard and I shared it with a few other people and a fewer said, “Gosh, Sarah, how about a small yoga studio instead of Gillette Stadium?” And, I said, “No, no, Gillette Stadium.”
KC: I love it.
SG: Yeah, very blessed to have had a personal training client who knew the Krafts. And so, he made the phone call for me and the Krafts are, you know, huge supporters of Boston Children’s Hospital and, you know, very much into wanting to help. So, they said, “Absolutely, we’ll donate the Field House for your event.” And then, it began and I started talking to people that might want to be on the committee. And then, it really took on its own force and energy and love and I just can’t thank the Yoga Community enough for really embracing the idea. And so, we had our first yogathon at Gillette Stadium. We have it at the Field House which is where the Patriots practice.
KC: It’s beautiful too, isn’t it.
SG: Yeah, well, it’s beautiful in its own way. It’s got a little smell of Tom Brady in there but it’s okay.
KC: That’s beautiful for us.
SG: That’s great, great energy. But no, it’s its own little oasis. It really is. It’s perfect. We feel private. It’s large. It’s fantastic and we don’t have to worry about the weather here in New England because we have the dome over us which is great. So, yes, we had our first one in the fall for the first year in September of 2010 and we had about 425 people our first year and raised about $150,000 that first year. And then, every year, it’s grown. So, we’re about to have our 6th, May 1st is our date this year and, you know, without a doubt, a thousand yogis will come and our goal will be to raise, you know over 350 thousand dollars and this year we will easily reach the million dollar mark for Boston Children’s Hospital. And, love that part of it. Love working with Boston Children’s Hospital because I’m able, along with the committee to choose where we want the funds allocated.
KC: Oh, that’s awesome.
SG: Yeah. So, the first year, you know, the reason that I chose Boston Children’s Hospital was my son, Will, who just turned 15 was born 10 weeks early. He was in the NICU for 7 and a half weeks. He was born 3 pounds and he was at Brigham and Women’s but Boston Children’s Hospital was over taking care of him constantly. And then, we had many trips back to the hospital after he came home. So, you know, it really comes down to that there’s no greater joy than giving back and helping others. And so, that is why I really wanted to support the hospital support children’s causes and do this event, do this organization to, you know, offer this platform and bring others on board, so yeah.
KC: So many questions I have about this.
SG: Sure, okay.
KC: So, alright, where do I start? I sort of started going in a different direction with the questions I wanted to ask but I want to take a step back again and when you were like thinking about getting this started, was it ever a question, like you have this major undertaking that you want to do, were you nervous about it, like what hurdles did you have to overcome, like to actually get it off the ground?
SG: I think that the hurdles could have been a lot worse if I let fear get in the way and, of course, there were some doubts but I really let fear go and said, “This is why I’m here. This is what we’re going to do and if an obstacle came then I did my best to turn it into a learning experience. So, you know, we still have some of the same hurdles and that’s corporate sponsorship and it’s the day in, day out, making sure the organization is running smoothly. But, I mean, I don’t know, I just I really, if I had fear it wouldn’t have happened. So, I had to let that go.
KC: And, it’s I feel like and one of the things I’ve always taught is that, like in order to really make a dream happen or to have the, have the fortitude to really follow through. It really comes down to 2 things. It comes down to you’re either super desperate or super inspired and it sounds like you were just so inspired to do this that all the other stuff became small stuff.
SG: Exactly, right, absolutely. It was inspired, yes. I think very purposeful like to me it became I mean in a way, I guess, my mission, like why am I here. First and foremost as a mother, no doubt about it but doing this work is why I’m here. So, it’s very simple and, you know, I just keep my eye to, you know, bringing the mission to as many areas as possible and spreading the love.
KC: So, like I said, I’m going to jump around a little bit here. So, now you get things started and you guys have that first yogathon, what did it feel like presenting that first check?
SG: Wow, it’s a great question. Surreal, I guess, and very proud as well and also again small, like it just wasn’t, you know, presenting the check, yes, I was standing there but it wasn’t about me. So, I just, I had great board members and committee members with me but I wish I could have had the 425 people that raised that money on the first year standing next to me. It was like I don’t know, I just I don’t feel like I should have been the one giving the check, so a lot of different emotions no doubt.
KC: It’s so awesome to hear your story because it’s like you got a point in your life where it no longer was about you and it’s so weird how when that happens, like we open up and we blossom and it, like it becomes about us in the, like we have all this receiving once we start giving, right?
SG: Exactly, yes.
KC: It’s such an amazing experience.
SG: I know. And, it’s you know, I say that it took me 40 years. I wish I had learned it as a child and, you know, as a parent, I mean it’s very important to try at young age to show how good it feels to help somebody else. And, I pray that’s happening with my children and I pray that it’s happening because we do a kids’ yogathon as well to give them the opportunity to feel that. So, I really hope that part of our mission is teaching the younger generation that this is really why we’re here. And, it’s so much fun and it brings so much joy and you do receive so much back by helping others.
KC: Alright, so I want to jump over to that now. Tell us about the kids’ yogathon. Where are those going on?
SG: So, right now they’re just in the Boston area. We’ve had 3 so far. So, for the past 3 years and it’s a great event, usually about a hundred kids and their families come. We get amazing teachers from that Kid’s Yoga World. It’s usually, you know, an afternoon event and they get to different ages have different classes and it’s, you know, it’s really sweet and it’s really meaningful. You know, we’ve donated to Camp Starfish which is a camp that helps kids with special needs and provides summer experience for them, the YMCA in Newton as well and, you know, just really done some nice work for other children’s charities and been able to offer something for kids to do to learn about fund raising and they get their own fundraising page and they can send, you know to grandma and grandpa and let them know what they’re doing and it’s fun.
KC: I love it. So, right now, I’m on the website and you’re in New England, Boston, specifically Foxborough, the Bay Area of California, South Carolina, Los Angeles, Albany, that’s everywhere you’re in right now. Is there anything else like in the next year or so that’s projected to be opening?
SG: So, we just launched Connecticut. So, that will be up on our website soon. We have an event planned for Trumbull, Connecticut next October. So, we’re really excited about that. The way a chapter begins is typically as I mentioned earlier, somebody will see what we’re doing here and say “Gosh, I want to do it in my community.” And then, they make it a co-chair to help them and the build the committee and the committee can be yoga practitioners, yoga studio owners, business owners, you know, people that have different things to offer, whether it’s skills and public relations, skills and writing, skills and sponsorship, things like that. And so, they’ll build the committee and, you know, I’d like to say, it’s like having a baby. It definitely takes like 9 months of good planning to put the event together. And then, a couple of months before that, just to begin spreading the mission about who we are, what we do, what we offer. So, that is happening in Connecticut right now and the event is a year away. And then, the next one on the docket that I’m working hard on is New York City and hoping that that will happen in the next year as well. So, the vision is to have Chapters throughout the country. I would love to have one a month, you know, 12 yogathons going on in one calendar year. But, I maybe little but I dream big. So, we’ll see. But, there’s lots of opportunities and lots of exciting things on the horizon.
KC: So, for people who are listening for 2 different things, first of all, if I’m listening and I’m interested in learning more about opening a chapter, what would be my next step to take?
SG: On the website is a form to fill out for starting a chapter and then I will be in touch with them and we’ll talk about, you know, what that entails. We have, I’d like to call it Yoga Reaches Out in a suitcase, you know, it’s basically step by step everything that needs to happen and then we guide here in the, you know, my home office in Wayland, along with Melissa who helps everyday as well. And so, together, you know, with a lot of guidance we’ll help to start the chapter and let them know what needs to get done and how to do it and we provide all the marketing material. We have a wonderful graphic designer here that helps with the flyers and postcards and logos and on all of that good stuff. So, first step is to fill out the form on our website.
KC: And then, if I’m thinking about participating, there’s really 2 ways you can participate and correct me or I’m going to use my words and you can reformulate it. You can like be a team leader or you can be part of a team, right? Is that sort of?
SG: Yeah, so that’s I think another thing that sort of sets our event apart from perhaps local studio having a benefit class, which is fantastic but the event brings together studios, teams from all over the area. And so, yeah, so say for example, Jackie Bonwell, who just did an interview with who actually is my teacher, I did my training with Jackie and has taught at Yoga Reaches Out every single year.
KC: She’s awesome, isn’t she?
SG: She is as good as it gets. Jackie, I love her so much and so much of Yoga Reaches Out has her heart and soul in it and we really wouldn’t be where we are right now without her love and support. And, every year, she brings a team and last year’s team, we joined with Universal Power Yoga and they were 140 people on their team and raised like, oh gosh, like 30,000, $35,000 from that one team. So, it’s really absolutely incredible and we’ll have teams that will be 1 person, 5 people up to, you know, 140 and they get placed on the field together. They get to wear shorts. They might make their own shirt. They will do benefit classes prior to the event to help raise funds and it just is all about camaraderie and community and just having fun and showing that, yes, individually you will raise your funds and you are making a difference but put all that together and wow, look what you can do. So, yeah, the teams is a big part of it and it’s a lot of fun.
KC: Awesome. So, let’s say that I am somebody who, I have this dream that it’s been inside of me for years and it keeps bubbling up to the surface but in all honesty I’m kind of nervous and scared about it and but I also know it’s not going to go away. But, I’m like scared to death to take action on it. What would you recommend somebody like that does?
SG: I think that it’s important to look at what that dream is and why is it that it’s driving you so much. And then, look at what the fear is. What is it that’s holding you back and if it’s just that it might not work, then I say go for it. Absolutely, just you have to try and look at it as I feel like with everything that you do, if you look at it as “Am I making a difference? Is what I’m doing, am I really passionate about it? And, am I making a difference?” I mean I truly believe that every person has many gifts but everybody has like one incredible special gift and I say to take that and I think you should educate it. You should nurture it. You should learn from it. And then, you should give it away. And, so with that dream is something that you’re really passionate about, can you use it to help others? Can you use it to make a difference? And then, if that’s your dream, then it will work. It will definitely work. So, let go of fear as much as possible. Look for your community, those around you that support you, share your idea and if somebody says “Oh gosh, that’ll never work.” Then, just like maybe put that in your, I don’t know.
KC: You can use that as power, right?
SG: Exactly, exactly, like if I have, you know, if I had stopped when maybe the 5th person I shared with said, “Why don’t you try a little local studio first?” Well, I don’t know, if I had said, “Oh gosh, maybe you’re right, maybe I should do that.” Would we be where we are today? But, I said, “You know, I just stuck with what my heart was telling me and that was ‘go for it’. Just, go for it. So yeah, just let the fear go and believe in yourself and believe that the world will lift you up.
KC: It’s so true. It’s actually, the reason I asked that, it’s something that I’m going through right now. So, for me, you know, like I was and still do work with Beachbody but I was like so called to do this podcast and my mind was going in a million different directions like I was thinking from a provider for my family and I was like “I have to just focus on doing just the work with Beachbody” but it’s, I was so inspired by this podcast and but it was just so foreign, it was so different to me. And, it really was, like it was some fears too. It was fears of rejection, fears of am I good enough, like who am I to do something like that but the joy and the doors that it’s opened by just trusting, right? So that, like that whisper is there for a reason and when we stopped trying to analyze and we get out of our own way, like our ego mind and just get into our heart. It’s just, so yeah, with this everything has been flowing divinely, sort of just like you were saying.
SG: Yeah, that’s beautiful. Absolutely, just believe in yourself and, you know, it will not be perfect, nothing in life is perfect. But, it is there to teach you something and yeah, there are days when I’m like “Gosh, you know, maybe I should go back to teaching in a school or something because I just don’t know how this is going to, you know, all come together.” But, I let that go as fast as it comes in because I know that I’m here to do this work. And so, I just stayed focused on the mission.
KC: Alright, so prior to us jumping on, I did a last minute post on Facebook for questions for you and a woman named Jamie Lyn had a couple of questions. So, I’ll give them all to you and you can answer them one by one.
KC: And, I have the questions in front of me so if you forget, I can read them back. So, she wrote “How did living the lifestyle of yoga change you? Do you meditate often? Why or why not?”
SG: Okay, those are the 3, the why, why not, you made into two. Got it.
KC: Yeah, yeah.
SG: Okay, perfect. So, how has yoga changed my lifestyle or just, what is the first question again?
KC: So, I should have just asked them one at a time. How did the lifestyle of yoga change you?
SG: Okay, got it. So, definitely through my own practice and my teachings with Jackie, yoga is not what I do but yoga is who I am. So, I live my life every day every moment not trying to be yoga but just it gets engrained in you that we are here to be kind. We’re here to learn. We’re here to help. And so, far from being the sacred yogi or whatever because I also believe in making mistakes is part of life and you have to do that. But, my lifestyle is living a life of purpose and that’s not just saying that my work through yoga reaches out but it’s being the best Sarah that I can possible be every day, not being perfect again because I don’t truly believe in that but doing my best to love myself be a great mom and to me one of the most important things in life is gratitude, so to live a life of gratitude. And, when I realized that I was spending a lot of my time thinking my life should be something different. Like, maybe should I have more of this or less of that or something? I was never truly at peace because I was always thinking it should be something more or different and when I realized that “Wait a minute, I have everything I could ever want.” And, I am so blessed by the life that I have and I’m so grateful for what I have that the desire, the need, the wishing for something else almost completely went away because I realized that everything was right there in front of me and I just wasn’t looking at it. So, that’s to me living a life of yoga is not being perfect but being grateful and being present and really realizing that I’m a contribution to this world.
KC: I love it. How about meditation?
SG: I do. I do meditate. Again, I’m not like this like you know, I wish I had lots of time to sit and meditate but I definitely try to meditate about 10 minutes a day and it’s important to me and if for some reason I fell out of that pattern, then I’m out of that practice, something’s wrong, I feel it. I feel it in my bones. So, I do meditate.
KC: And then, what type of meditation?
SG: Very simple, you know, I have a great little meditation bench that one of the dear teachers with me in Jackie’s 200-hour teacher training, she made it for me and in this little bench. And so, I just quiet and I focus on a mantra and close my eyes and, you know, just breathe and be at peace and, you know, work of stillness. I think so much of yoga is about learning to be comfortable in the quiet and learning to be comfortable with their body being still. And then, you know that you can take that into your day at any time, whether you’re sitting in traffic or you’re, you know, upset with your kids, you can come back to that meditation at any time, that stillness, so. And, I love sharing that and I’ve been able to teach some kids’ yoga classes recently and I love being able to share and watch them just practice stillness because it’s not something that we are comfortable with or we like to do and I do think that to me, you find joy in that stillness. So, I think it’s a great opportunity and a great way to share yoga. It’s just through stillness.
KC: What is, if any, what’s the book that you’ve gifted the most?
SG: Oh gosh, the book that I’ve gifted the most, there’s a daily meditation book that I like. I’m attached to my computer, Keith. I can’t really find it. What is it called? I have to get back to you on like the name. But, I love, I’m big into like just, you know, daily reading. I love, we’ll get tapes for the car a lot. So, if you want to hear something hysterical, the most recent one that I listened to in my car was Open, Andre Agassi autobiography.
KC: I’ve heard that’s amazing. I haven’t read it.
SG: Yeah, I loved it. I mean I grew up playing tennis. My son, Will, that’s his passion and his thing. So, I could, it really, you know, sort of hit home, just like it was player from the ‘80s that I watched growing up. So, I loved that part of it but it also had a really nice story about following your passion and having touch challenges but overcoming them. And so, I recommend that one. I doesn’t have anything to do with yoga but there’s yoga in there. I swear.
KC: It’s kind of all the same though. Like, he had, I haven’t read the book but does it talk about his experience like leaving tennis and then coming back and like coming back with the being passionate about it versus feeling forced to do it?
SG: It’s definitely some. It’s interesting because he never really says it ever, liked tennis which you’d think “Oh my gosh, how could you do something so well and so long in your life and not enjoy it?” But, and I think that’s a lesson, you know for us all perhaps that if you don’t enjoy something then, then you should look for what it is that you’re passionate about. But, in the end I think that he was passionate about it. He just was fighting everything, all the fear and everything that came with tennis. He just kept, that’s where he was staying and instead of just enjoying it, he was making it work, really work. Yeah, it definitely had a lot of great stories in there.
KC: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. I know you are a busy mother and a busy yogi and businesswoman too, running this entire Yoga Reaches Out and, you know, thank you to all the people who have been out there supporting you as well and all those yogis that you mentioned in your team. So, I appreciate you taking the time out and, yeah, looking forward to continuing to help in any way that I can and hopefully this year, knock on wood, I’ll be able to get out there in May.
SG: Excellent, Keith. That would be great. Thank you for, you know, letting me have the opportunity to share more about Yoga Reaches Out and, yes, thank you so much for everybody that’s helped grow the organization, sponsors, donors, participants. It really is, It’s been wonderful and I can’t wait to see where it all goes.
KC: Awesome. And, for everyone listening, we will include all the links mentioned and the links for Yoga Reaches Out and everything in the show notes. So, thank you.
SG: Thank you. Take care.
KC: Alright, so again, I love my job. I love being able to talk to inspiring, amazing people and I’m really going to make an effort to make it out to Yoga Reaches Out this year and going to challenge you too to go ahead, look into the cause especially if you’re in the New England area or any of the other areas where they do have a Yoga Reaches Out chapter. Go ahead. Reach out. Get involved. You’re going to meet some amazing people. Number one thing I suggest you do, go check out their website. It’s just beautiful. And, one other final thing I just want to mention before we wrap up here, OwningtheDash.com. Again, this really is my, it’s like my pet project. It’s the last 15 years of work all into one thing. Through, again, it’s through working with thousands and thousands of people who want to make a change but they just don’t know how. And, we feel like we fail over and over and we don’t think we can live that big beautiful bold dream that’s inside of us, that is what this course is for. Go ahead, OwningtheDash.com, it is free for a limited time. Alright, guys, ‘til next time. Have a beautiful, beautiful day.
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