“To know the spirit of a place is to realize that you are part of a part and the whole is made of parts, each of which is whole. You start with the part you are whole in.” —Gary Snyder, “The Place, the Regions, and the Commons”
Last week teaching another free Introduction to Iyengar Yoga at the Herkimer Apartments community room. Herkimer Apartments are adjacent to the Iyengar Yoga Center of Grand Rapids and also owned and managed by the housing non-profit organization, Dwelling Place. “Dwelling Place improves the lives of people by creating quality affordable housing, providing essential support services, and serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization.” IYCGR rents space from Dwelling Place. While we have offered a sliding scale community gift class for over a year not one resident has attended. So after speaking to the community resident services coordinator, Regina, it was decided to bring class to the Herkimer and meet the community in their space. We are getting creative out of necessity using a rack of chairs to support a student with an amputation (below the knee) for the standing poses. The boots stayed on this student for the class for stability. He felt a lot of relief getting his hips moving. Another student wore socks due to a foot infection. The point of this class is to reach out to the neighbors where they feel safe and introduce some yogasana. My children and the resident’s children were sometimes participating and sometimes playing.