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Every Little Bit Counts

By Fundraiser, Health, Mindfulness, Values, Yoga No Comments

Sometimes the news in the world—and even in our small community—can be so sad, upsetting, and daunting that it’s easy to feel helpless. It’s easy to doubt whether we can even make a difference. It’s mind boggling for me to think of the one billion animals killed in Australia’s fires. With so much death, destruction, and devastation, how can we make a difference? The truth is: every single animal we can help counts. Our support makes a huge difference in each animal’s life.

Expand this concept to the people within our community. We all know someone who has overwhelming medical bills. We know there are kids who need court advocates. People are fighting addiction, chronic pain, and social inequities. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by how great the need is. But we have to remember that we can make a difference every day in little ways.

How we treat each other matters. Integrity, respect, and gratitude are big concepts most of us use to guide us through our daily lives. But even the small stuff has a big impact. How do we treat each other at busy intersections or when we zipper merge? How do we interact when we meet in the aisle at the grocery store? Do we make the effort to move our yoga mats over for the person who just walked into class? Do we make eye contact, or do we consciously avoid it? Do we take the extra two seconds to hold the door for someone behind us when it’s cold and we’re pressed for time? And if we do, are we smiling?

Think about what happens to your own mood when someone shows kindness and compassion. Little things we may not think about can make a big difference.

Years ago, I listened to a guest speaker at my kids’ school in Denver. This man had climbed the highest mountains on every continent. He told us that on each trek he had one thought: just one more step. When he felt weak and tired, he thought: just one more step. When he felt hungry and depleted: just one more step. When he was shuffling in pain: just one more step.

To this day, when I take on a project that’s big and challenging, I think of those words. Breaking things down into little pieces makes them more achievable. Just one more step.

The animals that suffered or perished in Australia’s wildfires really devastated me. As much as I wanted to board a plane and volunteer in an animal hospital, I knew that wasn’t realistic. Instead, we broke it down into a smaller, achievable course of action and decided to fundraise. I couldn’t fly to Australia, but we could help with ongoing costs of care and supplies. I was blown away by the generosity of the Rakta community and the love and concern expressed by so many. One little yoga studio in a small mountain town can send over two thousand dollars to help—that seemed pretty amazing.

While there are so many distressing issues in our world right now, we also have real, poignant needs in our own community. Horizons Specialized Services Early Intervention and Family Support programs help families who face overwhelming medical bills and other expenses associated with providing the best care for their children. As a Physician Assistant and parent, this hits home.

Throughout the month of February, proceeds of several classes will go to Horizons to help families facing challenges we can’t all comprehend. In the words of Judith Lasater, “Eventually our practice evolves from something we do into a truth we become.” Our yoga becomes more than open hips and cool inversions. We take the presence, calmness, and openness we create on the mat off the mat and weave it into our interactions with others. Every act of kindness and compassion matters.

In light and love,


Do it for Drew

By Fundraiser, Yoga No Comments

21 years ago my (now) sister-in-law Dana took me to my first yoga class in Austin, Texas. “It will be fun!” she blurted.

45 minutes into the 90-minute class, I was flooded with doubt and a little bit of fear. Down dog felt like infinity. Was my blood sugar low? When I shampooed my hair the next day, muscles I’d never noticed before were sore.

Somewhere between the active aching and residual tenderness, I realized I felt great. In my very first yoga class, I struggled and strained and I fell in love with Savasana. I knew I would do yoga again.

More than two decades later, it’s easy to see how much yoga has changed my life. It took just one class and, of course, just one person.

A few years ago, Dana was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent surgery and reconstruction with grace and bravery that humbled me. Unfortunately, she has recently experienced a recurrence and is about to face another battle against cancer, this time with surgery and aggressive chemotherapy.

Now when I do yoga, I dedicate my practice to Dana. I send intentions for healing and health and I send prayers and positivity. I send her as much as I can as often as I can.

For the month of March, I’m encouraging all of us in the Rakta community to dedicate our practice to someone. Live like Sancy, Fight like Charlee, Do it for Drew. You can send strength to someone who needs it and love to someone who has passed. You can encourage someone to be bold or have faith. You can soothe someone’s anxiety or anger. You can send joy. Bring and keep a part of someone else with you as you move on your mat.

On Thursday March 7th, Rakta will be honoring the memory of Drew Rushton. Dedicating our practice to his memory, all classes will be donation based with the donations going to the Steamboat Viking Youth Hockey Team. Wake up and flow, take a sculpt lunch, and get fire hot sweaty after work. Join us all day long. In community, we will love and remember Drew.

Sign up for classes or drop on in! #doitfordrew