Being who I am — a filmmaker — I decided to make a film about Dana’s story. I figured this would help me understand her reasons for starting EmbodyGR while also supporting the Embody GR community by getting the story of its inception out there. And, Dana just generally seemed like a pretty interesting person. I made the film and I was moved by Dana’s passion, tenacity, and desire to turn a lack of access to yoga for herself into access to yoga for all through the vision and mission of EmbodyGR – to feel better and do good. I continued in the community after that. I made another film, capturing the voices of its members, painting a picture of the impact the community has on its members. I had discovered a place to grow and express my self. This was a revelation, but my attendance at EmbodyGR was not regular or consistent at this point.
Then I began to struggle in my life – I went through a divorce and I had troubles at work. I was not happy. I was not well. I was not feeling peaceful or at ease. My life was a mess — save for my precious little son. I knew that I needed something to help me do the work I would need to do in order to change the things in my life contributing to my struggles. So, I brought my son with me — EmbodyGR offers free childcare — week after week getting serious about my practice of yoga.
I decided that only thing that I could do, the only thing I could truly control was what I did with myself. I figured that if I started to get better then it would become clear to me what I could do to make the world better. I also figured that if I started getter better, then that fact alone would make the world a better place. So, I gave myself over to the practice. And I started to change. Not only did I get better at finding and holding yoga poses, but I learned how to breathe. I found that learning how to breathe was something that balanced me within. As man in American culture, I’ve been conditioned to believe that I am only allowed to be stoic, angry, and sexual. All the emotions that can be experienced below my neck and above my waist are not welcome. But the practice allowed to me experience a breakup of these psychological blockages between my brain and my body. Through every breath, I started to discover that this is where the peace for the world begins — within me and within the brother and sister beside me, grunting and groaning through the same poses. What a remarkable and beautiful thing.
As I look at my future in the community, I see myself telling more stories, finding more balance, and finding more peace. I see the world, slowly shifting toward goodness. I see a community offering the breath of light to each other, week after week.
“The EmbodyGR community embraces and supports, says ‘yes you can’ when the noisy inner voice says, ‘no you can’t’ – Kari Wilson, Community Member