Just a few months’ later 96 donation-based yoga classes and events across 25 states were attended by hundreds of civilians and veterans during our first Veterans Gratitude Week. Now I was really overwhelmed.
That was 2014. In 2015 our goal was to double our support from Veterans Gratitude Week. Led by our Board President, Deb Jeannette, and all of our VYP Ambassadors, Veterans Gratitude Week 2015 far outpaced our goals. From Florida to Alaska, from Hawaii to Maine, and even Canada and Japan, more than a thousand veterans, active-duty military, and civilians came together in one of over 400 classes across 39 states and 3 countries to practice yoga in support of programs that support veterans, their families, and our communities.
Besides giving me the emotional support, the juice to fuel my entrepreneurial cells, the funds raised during that week has allowed Veterans Yoga Project to be as supported and stable as it has ever been. In the past year, VYP has built a strong and stable foundational team of dedicated veterans and civilians to take care of the day-to-day operations necessary to bring the gift of yoga to those in need. For the first time, I know that VYP will continue to do good in the world for a long time to come. I hear about it everyday. “That’s the most relaxed I’ve felt in 10 years”. “I wasn’t in pain so I was able to fall asleep”. “Yoga saved my life”. Just a few days ago one of our Ambassadors wrote “The VYP has given me “purpose”, a willingness to help others and not be so caught-up in my own bull**it.”
These experiences are not insignificant. In a world that often feels filled with fear and destruction and terrorism, let us remember that there is a ton of good things happening that never makes it into the “news”. You are part of an incredible community of people that is walking the walk (asana-ing the asana?), supporting efforts to light the world with mindfulness, compassion, and connection. For that, I, and everyone here at VYP, am incredibly grateful.
Veterans Yoga Project