This year’s ‘Yoga Stops Traffick’ event to raise money and awareness for the amazing work of Odanadi had a really personal meaning to me, having been lucky enough to have spent the last few weeks getting to know some of the residents of Odanadi’s girl’s home here in Mysore whilst working on their garden project. For the last four years I have been working with Natalie Cresswell and Scott Parsons in Bournemouth to organise the 108 (sponsored) sun salutions with our own amazing local yoga community and this year the guys had the most amazing support ever for the event on the 17th March at Murrells by the sea in Boscombe. I know that they are still collecting money but at the last count over £1,300 had been raised which is awesome. Well done Nat and Scott and everyone else who helped to organise the event, turned up on the day to take part, raised sponsorship and, last but not least, all those who baked cakes for the day too … I have to say that I did miss out on the cake … but we had fresh coconut water afterwards here inMysore.
It felt very special to be at Mysore Palace for the main event here this year and quite moving as we turned up to help set up early in the morning and found all the people from Odanadi already there and organising things. Mats were laid down on the paved area outside the main palace gate, in front of a specially made podium for the event and the girls were handing out flowers to us all and putting them in front of each mat. My friend and roomie Sophie had a very special role representing the founders (her brother Sean and his wife Sarah) and got to sit on the podium with the other officials and we all rolled out our mats to do the 108. In reality, as it was so hot by the time speaches were made and we got started, we actually did 27 sun salutes (a quarter of the amount) and these were beautifully counted by some of the Odanadi girls, including two of my lovely helpers from the garden project. It was amazing to be there moving and breathing together with so many people from Odanadi of all ages, many friends from the Mysore yoga community and especially the two founders, Stanley and Parashu, whose incredible work for this organisation is truly an inspiration!