This past summer, I was an intern at a local non-profit, The Growing Project (TGP). TGP is a non-profit that is working to fight social injustices with the tools of growing food. There are mini gardens all around town in a variety of communities. On top of these gardens, there is a main farm, The Burrow, where many events are held and where the bulk of the food we hand out is grown. There are programs held at The Burrow, such as a young farmers training program, and there are volunteer hours three times a week during which anyone is welcome to come help us grow food. After volunteer hours on Monday and Thursday evenings, there are community meals in which everyone brings a small dish, and a main dish is cooked up with farm ingredients in our outdoor kitchen. Our intern meetings were also held at The Burrow each Monday evening. We would have a staff, intern, or guest speaker present on varying topics, followed by volunteer hours. One Monday, I led a discussion on stretching, yoga, and back care for farmers, followed by a small class in which we practiced some of the poses discussed.
On the harvest moon this past fall, the community meal was turned into a celebration of the season. Two weeks prior, I was asked to lead the group in a harvest moon yoga practice. This was such an honor, as this place is very special to me. I had been envisioning doing my Seva project with TGP in some manner, and being able to lead such a powerful group in yoga on the harvest moon, a moon symbolizing a season of love and growth and community, was more than I could have imagined. Though the idea of this was scary, I gathered all my yoga resources and started planning the class. I used what I had already learned in the first two modules to formulate a Hatha-esque class with an emphasis on heart opening. This was a special request by Amy, the farm manager and the one who planned this lovely event.
The community meal that night was a special one. The little dirt parking lot filled quickly and the table was covered in steaming homemade dishes. There was a fire built, as the temperatures had already started to drop. There was a table set up with tarot cards and spirit cards for those who wanted to draw. There was a circle of yoga mats with a beautiful harvest decoration in the middle, including dried flowers from the summer, pumpkins that the raccoons didn’t manage to get, candles, and glowing orange stones.
TGP has helped me, along with so many others, grow so much in the short season that I have spent with them. Doing my Seva project with this organization, between intern back care yoga and harvest moon heart opening yoga, was such an honor. It brought two very important aspects of my life together, and I was so happy to share my yoga practice with the beams of light that exist within that farm. I am interning with them again this growing season, and I hope to do more events like these in the future.
Yoga and this organization seem to have a lot of overlap, and I would love to continue bringing yoga to this community. My role in the organization is managing the garden we have at The Murphy Center, which is a center for individuals experiencing homelessness. This summer, I hope to lead some group stretches/yoga at The Murphy Center before/after garden time to share this loving practice with the guests at The Murphy Center.
~Caroline Danielson, TTC Alumna 2019
**Photos courtesy of The Growing Project. Please visit their website for more information, to make a donation, or to get involved.