Each month we're featuring our fantastic teachers, their incredible attributes as well as raising money for a non-profit that is near and dear to them.
March: Off the Mat with Lauren Snyder
Who is Lauren Snyder:
I grew up on the outskirts of Awha’y, the unceded lands of the Chumash people now known as Ojai, CA; a small valley rich with energy and magic. The history, the power, and the majesty of the land here, as seen through Indigenous eyes, always held deep and reverent meaning to me. Even as a child, the stories and teachings shared with us by local tribal elders always felt more real than all the trappings of the modern “spiritual retreat” Ojai has become known for.
In those early years, I felt this undeniable connection to the earth, the seen and unseen, and the often seemingly inexplicable. I spent lifetimes lost in my imagination, trying to reconnect to the earth, its plants and animals, and its Spirit; as the original inhabitants did. Connection and unity with all living and natural beings of the earth called to me from a very young age.
Growing up, my interests always extended into things like art, poetry, writing, reading, being outdoors, animals, music, and dance…the kinds of things that fostered humanity’s innate sense of creative expression and connection. My emotions were often much bigger than my tiny body could carry and I spent a great deal of my youth learning to navigate an intangible existence that seemed much larger than me.
In my early twenties I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and thus began a long and winding road, navigating chronic illness. It has since shaped and shifted the way I live, practice, and work with others. It has made me passionate about Accessibility, Equity, Nurturing, and Nourishment on an individual, global, and ever changing basis.
Every day, I seek to go deeper in my own learning and growth not only to continue along my own path of healing; but because I believe that the more we do our own work; the better we can show up in a world that desperately needs healing. We must do our own work to be better companions to one another on this journey of life; and we must seek the unity within to bring that unity outward though the dismantling of unnatural systems of oppression and separation. It can be hard messy work at times; but it is my life’s calling and I am devoted to it in practice and in being.
Lauren is passionate about creating a sustainable yoga practice for anyBody and everyBody! This month she is supporting the local Non-profit she did her Accessible Yoga training with.
Accessible Yoga International https://accessibleyoga.org/
*Fun Note: Founder and Director, Jivana Heyman lives in and founded the organization in Santa Barbara, so it is somewhat local despite being an international group as well.
Accessible Yoga believes that all people—regardless of ability or background—deserve equal access to yoga. Through education and advocacy, we share the teachings and benefits of yoga with those who have been marginalized.
We envision a world where everyone has access to the yoga teachings that offer individual empowerment and spiritual awakening. We identify and remove barriers to access, build strong networks, and advocate for an accessible, equitable, and dynamic yoga culture.
Why I chose AYI?
As someone who has had chronic illness in my life for over a decade now; Accessible Yoga International not only gave me the tools to support my own practice, but also gave me the training to bring that knowledge onto the mat for my students as well. AYI works hard to consistently break down barriers and make Yoga accessible to everyone; which is also something that also aligns so closely with Pop Up and so it made perfect sense to choose them as my nonprofit this month.
Two ways to support AYI this month:
Donate to our overall fundraising efforts; below via Paypal or Venmo @YogaintheWild with a description of the funds your sending
Join us on March 30th. Proceeds from registration at Lauren's 6pm weekly practice will go towards our greater fundraising efforts.