Thanks(giving)

By Stephen Ewashkiw | November 24, 2013

lululemon athletica invited me to lead their first Community Class in Shanghai, where they are just about to open their first mainland China showroom. The class was today, at Karma Life Yoga‘s Laoximen location, one of the two studios I will be teaching at during our next four weeks in Shanghai.

Pre-class prep involving oranges, at Karma Life Yoga.

Pre-class prep involving oranges, at Karma Life Yoga.

The set-up for class was beautiful. As American Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and Shanghai is filled with ex-pats, we themed the class around Giving Thanks. Jen, Claire, Jane (not our Jane), and Susan from lululemon had put a lot of thought into the layout of the room, and had made a puja in the centre, with the mats radiating out in a circle.

Clare setting up before the lululemon community class at Karma Life Yoga, Shanghai.

Clare setting up before the lululemon community class at Karma Life Yoga, Shanghai.

Before class, each student wrote down the name of the person they are most thankful for, and why, on a slip of paper. They then folded the paper into an origami flower and placed it in the middle of the room.

The thankful puja at lululemon Shanghai community class.

The thankful puja at lululemon Shanghai community class.

Everyone’s gratitude on display in the middle of the space helped us all keep our focus throughout class.

We worked on building our practice from the ground up, and concentrated on remembering the person in our life who helps ground us.

Some of the poses involved group work, breaking down into smaller circles and literally supporting each other’s work.

Stephen, Jen, and the rest of the lululemon Shanghai team demonstrate King Of The World pose.

Stephen, Jen, and the rest of the lululemon Shanghai team demonstrate King Of The World pose.

Some of the poses were personal, chosen to help students look inside and to recognise that the support they are able to give to friends and family is as important as the support they receive.

Although the lululemon store has yet to open, the team here have already built a strong connection with the SH yoga community, and it was terrific to be able to help bring new students and students from other studios into the space at Karma Life.

At the end of the class, Jen presented each student with a pass for two weeks of yoga at Karma Life, with the intention that they use one week and pass one week on to the person to whom they gave thanks.

I hope I’ll see many of these students again during our stay in town. Hint hint.

Thanks again to lululemon and Karma Life for putting on this inspiring class and inviting me to be a part of it!  

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stephen ewashkiw adventure yoga

Hi, I’m Stephen, full-time travelling yoga teacher & founder of Adventure Yoga. I’ve taught yoga in 25 countries and have had adventures in 50! At My Five Acres, we inspire you to live your most adventurous life and help you to travel more and more mindfully.

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