We at La Terza are very excited to invite you to a special event coming up on Sunday, August 6th, 2017.
Emily Hager is a yoga instructor here in Cincinnati with a passion for fighting human trafficking. To raise funds, Emily will be teaching two yoga classes (one at 9AM and one at 11AM), along with coffee, brunch, and silent auction baskets at 10AM.
All funds raised will be going to the Yoga Medicine Seva Foundation, an organization working with Her Future Coalition and Rescue Foundation in order to help women and children who are at risk or have been victims of human trafficking. The organizations are currently working together to open a new shelter near a red light district outside of New Delhi, India and the funds raised at this event will go toward providing health check-ups, education and vocational training, food, clothing, and mental and spiritual rehabilitation.
If you don’t practice yoga regularly, have no fear! Emily says the class “will be a flow class that is accessible to everybody: simple, clear and grounding.” Through this event, we are able to join together as a community to not only raise funds to help the women and children affected by trafficking, but also honor them with our practice as well. “We can honor their suffering and honor their healing,” Emily says.
We asked Emily a few questions about how she got involved in the cause and why it’s important to her:
Emily found out about Yoga Medicine Seva foundation through a yoga teacher’s website. She was looking for a trip to take, and one she could do by herself. “I like doing things related to yoga because that’s what I really enjoy.” She found the link to the Seva trip, the pull to take part was immediate. “I just knew I had to do it,” she says. “For me, human trafficking is something that has been popping up sporadically in my life for the past four year now. It started when I was in grad school and I was doing my capstone with a mentor who, at the time, worked with The Freedom Center. We looked at human trafficking for that project and then throughout the past four years, I’ll hear random stories on NPR or through Aruna Run.” After years of being continually confronted with the issue, coming across the opportunity to join the Yoga Medicine Seva Foundation on a trip to India seemed perfect. “I knew it was the right time to do something like this,” she says. “Being of service is something I want to practice more, so this is the opportunity to do it!”
Emily has spent the Summer fundraising and will be going on the trip in January of 2018. “I am just most excited to have this experience, to experience another country, another way of living, another culture,” she says. “I have never gone out of my comfort zone in this way, and I am really excited to take in every moment of it.” Emily and the team will spend the first two days of the trip learning about trauma yoga and the ways to teach and share the practice. The rest of the trip will be spent with the women and children at the shelter. “We will be will be showing them that we are there for them to be of service and working with them as a part of their healing,” she says.
When asked about her motivation for going on the trip, Emily says, “I am not here to look at these woman as if I am the person bringing something to them that they couldn’t do themselves. I don’t look at it from a lense of ‘I am going to help.’ The offerings are mutual and we can all benefit from this sharing and compassion. I have realized that we all may be different, but we are all human. We are all in this together. We should be treating each other fairly and with open hearts and open eyes.”
We asked Emily what her favorite part about practicing yoga is and she said “All of it! I am constantly in the practice of being present and for me that is yoga. One of the things yoga has taught me is how to be here in this moment and let it be. The whole mental clarity I have been able to uncover within myself through the practice is my favorite part. It is constantly changing and it isn’t easy, but I know yoga is something I am going to continue doing and that it’s not going to lose my attention and I love that about it.”
Even if you’re not a yogi, you can still come and support the cause, join us for coffee and brunch, and participate in the silent auction!