Every single day we practice we make a choice to set aside our busy days and todo lists and make the choice to be present: To be present with our self, our neighbor, and the world at large.
Jill Sockman, owner of downtown Blue Lotus shares her experiences with her 9:00 a.m. Wednesday class as the morning sun pours into the window. The sun illuminates the exposed brick walls creating a sacred community space. Walking into Blue Lotus I hear the Cheers theme song playing in the back of my head as I look around at all of the smiling faces of friends reuniting to practice together. People scoot their mats closer to fit everyone in. Even Padma, Jill’s sweet pup took full advantage of the loving excited energy in the room do receive her daily dose of pets. Over the next hour and a half, Jill guided the packed room through a well-balanced asana series accompanied by eloquently spoken words of encouragement. "Be with integrity where you can be. This is important. I choose to accept the experience and totality of now. That is what yoga is, to make the better choice more of the time. Everything you do is your choice. Chose to do more of what is serving you and rid yourself of what is not”. Jill had our full attention.
Jill has been a member of the You Call this Yoga Board of Direcrors since its inception and she has been an enthusiastic sponsor of YogaFest since the beginning. Blue Lotus was founded o the principle of community and the intention of creating a space where all who practice yoga feel comfortable regardless o their level of experience, age, or body type. She has been teaching for fourteen years and the establishment of Blue Lotus was the realization of a dream. She has happily watched yoga expand and grow over the past seven years and has watched it flourish in this area. The 200 and 300 hour teacher training programs she offers are thriving.
Active in the community, Blue Lotus has raised over $40,000 for organizations such as Prevent Child abuse, NC, Raleigh City Farm, Piedmont Wildlife Center, CORRAL, Hospice of Wake County, InterAct of Wake County, and many more. Blue Lotus regular leads service days at local agencies such as the Food Bank, Raleigh City Farm, Coalition to Unchain Dogs, Habitat for Humanity and other service agencies. Creating community is not insular; it is about outreach and giving back.
YogaFest reinforces this approach and draws the community together, embracing old and new practitioners. Yoga studios have the opportunity to work together toward this goal and to support each other, our vision, and our intention to create unity and community. Jill encourages everyone to participate in YogaFest this year to learn about the practice, the different styles of yoga, the various studios, workshops, and trainings available, as well as other businesses that support the practice. Jill is thrilled to be involved again this year!