Saturday, March 19, 2011

The 108 was a grand success!

1 church hall, 4 yoga teachers, 18 raffle prizes, 23 willing bodies, 108 sun salutations and £438.47 raised for comic relief!
What an incredible set of numbers that is and one I am very proud to say I had a hand in. A big hand actually. I asked nicely, I emailed, I texted, I nagged and I plain got all Bob Geldoff on some people but it was all worth the effort. To see all those gorgeous people and aged from 8 right through to 58, inhaling and exhaling their way through an hour and getting their sun salutation on, was so fantastic.
They came from far and wide to support me and the AMAZING charity that is Comic Relief. And they donated their little butts off, buying endless raffle tickets and throwing their hard earned cash in a contribution bucket and then as if that wasn't enough I made them unroll their mats and work their bodies in a manner they may be cursing me for today. I mean most people who do a regular yoga class, may do up to 25 sun salutations a session, so 108 is immmense. I think, no, I know some of my friends were a bit nervous about it:
"Really Sophie?"
"Are you mad?"
Me: "Yes really!"
You may want to read my post from September 16th 2010 entitled, "108 Ways To Get Ready For Fall" to find out why 108.
But the reason why I thought this would be such great way to raise money was a no brainer. It was a tough physical challenge, and that is exactly what people face every single day in poverty stricken Africa. 
To answer the last question, no, not mad exactly, just a little bit eccentric maybe and a lot passionate about people and yoga and great causes.
And, I know this isn't very all loving and all giving and  yogic etc. but I bloody hate those "Just Giving" pages. Is it just me or do you get an email linking to one of those pages every other day? I have donated but I never remember who to or what for or why.  I wanted to get people to donate in a way they would remember (You'll all remember this for sure!) because they physically got involved. So as well as doing good for other people you were doing yourself some good too. Now I know if you were one of the lovely yogis who came last night, you are probably feeling like you did yourself some damage!!! (Am I the only one whose shoulders feel like they are falling out of their sockets?) But believe me when I tell you that you have done so much good. You have re-oxygenated your entire body, you have exercised your heart, opened up your lymphatic system, toned your muscles, strengthened your joints, stimulated your endocrine system, increased your spinal flexibility and raised shit loads of cash for charity.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU to the fabulous teachers who helped me put our unsuspecting victims (Wendy!!) through their paces last night; The wonderful Julie Bealey, Nicola Brown and  Terri Walford.

And another massive THANK YOU to all those who attended, to those who stumped up cash, to those who organised and to those who contributed to the raffle. Without you all we cold never have pulled this off.
I am thinking we should make it an annual event...shall I ask you all in a few months when the aches and pains are a distant memory?!

Take a look at the pics...

Warming up

We've only just begun!
Come to yoga and get a great butt!

Inhaling with Julie!

up dog number 58...only 50 to go!


Keeping count for us, Will!

I smiled through all 108...freak?!

How sweet is Megan?

Everybody in love put your hands up!

Breathe Helen, breathe!

We even had boys!

....And relax!

You earned it Terri!

holding hands in savasana, aaahhhh!

Monday, March 7, 2011

108 Sun Salutations for Comic Relief

Did any of you watch the documentary on BBC 1 last week "Famous, Rich and in The slums"?
Four celebrities spent a week living in arguably the most impoverished place on earth in the African slums of Kibera, Kenya. The documentary follows Lenny Henry, Reggie Yates, Angela Rippon and Samantha Womack who are stripped of all their possesions and are left to survive in harsh, unsanitary and frankly frightening conditions. This incredible film tells a story of abject poverty and despair that close to one million Kiberans live every day, where back breaking manual labour earns you as little as 50 pence a day, one in 5 children don't live to see their fifth Birthday and pit latrine toilets are emptied by hand into the river that runs through this 1.5 square miles of squalor. Most families struggle to earn enough to feed themselves every day, many young women turn to prostitution in exchange for food and a large percentage of children cannot afford to go to school.
Easily the most heart wrenching piece of TV I have seen in a long time and through the tears when a young woman miscarried a baby in the very basic hospital lobby and nobody batted an eye lid, I decided I needed to do something to help.
So  am calling on you to help too.
I am looking to have a sun salutation event! What do you think?
Whether you are a yoga practitioner or not, how about you come along, donate some money to a great cause and get a fantastic work out at the same time.
I am also hoping that some of my yoga teacher friends and network will be up for a share of guiding everyone through this challenge. Yes that means you, Shelley, Terri, Lucy, Marie, Julie, Laurent, Krystal...
108 salutes to the sun seems such a perfect way to raise some hope and happiness as well as some cash for a very worthy cause.
So I am looking for help....PLEASE!
Contact me and let me know how you want to support this event. If you want to participate, donate, teach, offer refreshments...You name it. I am also looking for a venue, though I do have a couple of ideas up my sleeve.
Red nose day is Friday 18th March and that seems like as good a day to do this as any, although it doesn't give us much time.
Now I don't want to hear, "But I am going to the cinema/pub/theatre/club that night!"
Go the next night instead.
Go the next night and celebrate the fact that you have achieved something incredible not just for an amazing cause but for yourself too.
If we could get 50 people to come along and donate a fiver even, that would be a decent chunk of money which could help save children from blindness, fight the spread of malaria and increase chances of infant survival.
Get involved and get emailing me!