YogaGround~Serving with LOVE and AWARENESS
I am Elizabeth(Ela) Wojtowicz and I was born with Cerebral Palsy which affects my balance and ability to do certain asana. However not only have I been practicing yoga for 4 years, I have also become a certified yoga teacher at the 200 hour level. Yoga allows me to deepen my faith, open my heart and empower me to know anything is possible, teaching me that we are so much more than our physical prowess or limitations.
My Yoga classes which include simple asana, breath and visualization, supports not just our bodies, but how we want to show up in the world and live our lives the best way we can. I am proof that yoga truly is for anyone. As beautifully said by my yoga teacher, mentor and founder of "Off The Mat, Into The World" Sean Corn, "You do not have to be strong or flexible to create a work of art."
I know as the saying goes, “to never say never” but I never thought that I would be practicing yoga. My CP affects my balance greatly but I don’t let that affect my practice. I believe that I didn’t come to yoga rather, yoga came to me. I am a hard working dedicated student and I shared with my mom that I need to do something and not have my head in the books all the time and I walked into my first yoga studio five years ago and I haven’t looked back.
Yoga has given so much to me. Just because I face challenges, I don’t let that stop me. I practice Therapeutic/Restorative Yoga, AntiGravity Yoga and Vinyasa Flow Yoga and I don’t feel intimidated that I can’t do a pose the way that everyone else does. I am just so excited to be in this amazing community. Yoga is each our own and how I do it, I do it.
My mission is to help those that have a physical challenge or limitation realize that our physical challenge is not what defines us. It is what we teach others around us with a positive attitude that we can do anything no matter how it may look to the person next to us in class or in life. Yoga is not for the super flexible, it is for those that want to better themselves mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
My "Off The Mat Into The World Global Seva Challenge India 2012" Awareness Fundraising Letter
"why strech when you can reach?"
Dear family and friends,
I have taken upon a very important, yet challenging goal for myself this year. I have signed my intention form to raise, as much as I can, bringing awareness to the India Seva Challenge 2012; Bare Witness: Indian Humanitarian Tour, with one of my most inspiring yoga teachers, Seane Corn, a founder of "Off the Mat, Into the World" (OTM).
Seva means Selfless Service and it is through the Spirit of Seva that I have committed myself to the 2012 Seva Challenge. Through fundraising and events it is my goal to raise as much as I can for India by December, where we will be working on eradicating human trafficking and bringing awareness to the HIV/AIDS crisis. "Off The Mat Into The World", part of the Engage Network, is a 501(c)(3) charity organization that bridges Yoga and Activism.
For more information on this year’s Challenge and how to get involved, please check out http://offthematintotheworld.org/india.html. The potential partners and projects that we will be working with are the Apne Aap’s 3L Advocacy Program, where women and children learn resources valuable and necessary to survive; supporting the Dance Movement Therapy, building a “Center of Excellence” with Kolkata Sanved; building and painting a new training center, helping 40 women join the agency with Made by Survivors; building a composting machine, encouraging a cleaner environment with Clean Himalaya; building a shelter to house 25 girls with Sanlaap and building a new study space for children, with Ramana’s Garden. Your generous donation will help contribute towards the wellbeing of women and children, empowering them, rescuing them and rehabilitating them~giving a Voice to the Voiceless.
Once again, my goal is to raise as much as I can by December 2012 for India. If you have any questions and would like to discuss this further please contact me at your earliest convenience.
Thank you for your consideration,