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Yoga is in the Heart

“You do not have to be strong or flexible to create a work of art.”

“This quote by Seane Corn speaks to my heart and soul on a deep level. Being a young woman who has a physical disability, I never thought that I would be doing Yoga, let alone become a Yoga Teacher.

Being a Yogi with Cerebral Palsy I want to inspire others and, in doing so, I inspire myself.

Yoga is not about the physical—whether we can get our leg over our head—but rather what is in our Heart.

Yoga is an art and I know in my heart, that I am here (like all of us), for a reason. My purpose is to share my challenges and disability through the art of Yoga. Yoga is an expression unlike any other and it allows me to truly be open and confident and vulnerable to whatever comes.

It allows me to accept myself for who I am: as a person with a disability. I am and will be forever grateful, honored and humbled by the love of healing, compassion, and beauty that Yoga and this Life has given me.”

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Thank you for your interest in donating to the Off The Mat, Into The World-2013 Seva Challenge for Amazon!

Dear family and friends,

I have decided to step into my Seva, into my Leadership, and into my Purpose by taking upon a very important, yet challenging goal for myself this year. I have signed my intention form to raise $20,000,  bringing awareness to the Amazon Seva Challenge 2013; Bare Witness: Ecuadorian Humanitarian Tour, with one of my most inspiring yoga teachers, Seane Corn, a founder of “Off the Mat, Into the World” (OTM). I will be on this journey with “Off The Mat, Into The World”.

 

It is through “Selfless Service”, the Spirit of Seva that I have committed myself to the 2013 Seva Challenge. It is my goal through fundraising and events, to raise $20,000 by December 31st. I will be working on bringing environmental justice and awareness to environmental issues of deforestation and the oil spill in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador.  We all live on this planet, Mother Earth and if we cannot stand up for her than who will? She is crying out for help. Without clean air, clean water, trees, what do we have? How do we live?  “Off The Mat Into The World”, part of the Engage Network, is a 501(c)(3) charity organization that bridges Yoga and Activism.

 

For more information on this year’s Challenge and how to get involved, please check out, my personal fundraising page at  https://otmseva.fundraise.com/ela-wojtowicz

The potential partners and projects we will be working on are still to be determined, as Rebecca, the Manager of the Global Seva Challenge will be traveling to Ecuador at the end of March.

 

Once again my goal is to raise $20,000 by December 2013 for Ecuador. To make an online donation towards my Seva Challenge, please visit https://otmseva.fundraise.com/ela-wojtowicz

If you have any questions and would like to discuss this further, please contact me at your earliest convenience.

 

Thank you for your consideration,

Ela Wojtowicz

973.271.9437

www.elayoga.com

On December 31st, we completed our 2012 Global Seva Challenge and raised a historic $1 million to help combat sex trafficking in India.

We will launch our 2013 Global Seva Challenge on January 18th. In the meantime, we welcome general Seva donations and greatly appreciate your support for the important work that Off the Mat, Into the World is able to accomplish each year with our Global Seva partners around the world.

Please type Ela Wojtowicz in the comments box so that the donation goes toward my Seva Challenge. Thank you!
(Click Image Below).

 

 

 

*Please note that all donations made online will have a 3% fee deducted for processing, so that 100% of the donation goes to the Engage Network, parent to Off The Mat, Into The World.

Off the Mat, Into the World is a tax exempt, nonprofit grassroots organization focused on building networks and training citizens to build networks of participants to undertake social change in the environment, education, children’s issues and health issues. Contributions to OTM are tax deductible to the limits of applicable laws. Off the Mat, Into the World® is a program of the nonprofit, The Engage Network. All tax receipts come from The Engage Network.   

News

~”OFF THE MAT…INTO NEW JERSEY”~Picture

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/YOU-CAN-HELP-HEAL-AND-REBUILD-NJ–OFF-THE-MAT-AND-INTO-NEW-JERSEY-DEC–22nd.html?soid=1101621146854&aid=OcbPj6KZx4A#fblike

***UPDATE from my dear Jersey Girl Seane Corn~

“Hey Jersey, We had to make a change in venue. The OTMNJ event will now be held at the ATLANTIC CITY CONVENTION CENTER. We’ll officially change the invite sometime today, just wanted to put the word out. I will have info on auction/raffle items, etc. shortly as well. So excited about this event and appreciate the incredible outpouring of support we continue to receive. xx”

~***”We are looking for donations of items for our silent auction: gift cards, spa packages, vacations, yoga retreats and teacher trainings, yoga related items, clothing, jewelry and the like, of course nothing used. Please contact Nicole Cucinotta regarding auction donations here: OTMNJauctiondonations@gmail.com”
~As per OTMNJ on Saturday December 22, 2012~”

http://www.mamastenyc.com/off-the-mat-into-new-jersey.html

Get involved and help New Jersey Stay Strong! :)

 

***UPDATE from Debby Kaminsky~

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOGA STUDIOS, ON OFF THE MAT INTO NEW JERSEY EVENT!

 

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=ghnz85bab&v=001TZa7AKGpnMHHDlgLMtwYaScsLL9u5Qb6nZ79ho-6ZulZ-a1wA5jXzTmzsjTgwyGTxRZE2lmeAxOn4DxJOAdYuzUO3kbpUIbjqdi0JrK3oRU%3D

***OTMNJ FLYER IS UP~

http://offthematintotheworld.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Screen-Shot-2012-12-07-at-11.33.04-AM.png

 

“YOU’RE INVITED TO “OFF THE MAT AND INTO NJ” DECEMBER 22ND ATATLANTIC CITY CONVENTION CENTER,  ATLANTIC CITY, NJ!”

Join Seane Corn, Debby Kaminsky, Sharon Pingitore, myself and many like minded people as we come together in Community, Collaboration, Connection, Unity, Hope, and Love for the people that have lost so much during Hurricane Sandy, a storm that Mother Nature definitley taught us a valuable lesson with.

 

~Get off your mat and into the GardenState on Saturday, December 22, 2012 in Atlantic City at the Atlantic City Convention Center from 12~3pm. To get involved in any way please contact Debby at debbyoga@yahoo.com or visit http://www.mamastenyc.com/off-the-mat-into-new-jersey.html

~More soon, so stay tuned!

 

~Lets be JERSEY STRONG!

 

With Deep Love & Gratitude,

 

Seane, the whole OTM team, Debby, Sharon, Liz Halfpapp and Fred DeVito, myself and LiveStream Radio, and many many others who are making this happen

xx

Off The Mat Into New Jersey

Yesterday December 22, 2012 was an epic day! We took our Yoga off the mat and into New Jersey. Hundreds of us Yogis and Yoginis gathered together in the name of Love, Healing, Hope, Unity for those devastated by Hurricane Sandy that hit the New Jersey/Tristate area on October 29, 2012. As one gentleman put it, “Possessions and materials and personals can be brought back, but what we can do as a community is help our neighbor. They need our support.” It was just so great and beautiful to see and be a part of something that was a thought created by dear Jersey Girl Seane Corn on Facebook and within minutes, hours, hundreds of us went to work and got our Seva on. And 5 weeks later, to have hundreds of us gathered at the hub of the New Jersey devastation was just unbelievable and amazing. As Seane so beautifully said, “It’s a true testament to the spirit of New Jersey and to the tristate area about what can happen when we come together as a community on a grassroots level and do what needs to be done. It is such a privilege to get to do what we do.” To be able to step into our Service and really feeling on a spiritual level that we ARE making a difference, one breath, one movement at a time, is just so beautiful.

Throughout this storm I believe that what it has taught me (through this practice of Yoga), is that we are the Garden State for a reason. Gardens have soil that is dark and it is through the darkness that trees grow, that flowers bloom. I feel that Mother Nature was crying to us saying, “Let’s rise up from this darkness and come together even stronger.” I am so blessed, grateful, and humbled to live in New Jersey, be from New Jersey and to be a part of this amazing, beautiful Yoga and Off The Mat Into The World community! Let’s serve and rise to our purpose and passion with prayer and intention.

Anything is Possible

Carrie Writes: For disabled yoga teacher Ela Wojtowicz, practice opens pathway to self-knowledge

by Carrie Barrepski

I always love connecting with people who are doing amazing things.

Recently I met a young woman through Facebook named Ela Wojtowicz who, like myself, doesn’t let her disability stand in her way.

Ela and I soon discovered that we had many similarities, from our passion for yoga and having Seane Corn as our mentor to being involved with Off the Mat Into the World, a yoga activism group.

Ela lives in New Jersey and, like myself, has mild cerebral palsy. She uses crutches and a walker to accommodate her disability.

Ela practices vynassa flow yoga, a practice that links breath with the body movement. She says yoga came into her life at a time when she felt something was missing. Ela has completed a 200-hour yoga teacher certificate, and her personal practice has empowered her to bring the benefits of yoga to other people with disabilities. She currently teaches a yoga class at Ramapo College, where she is also working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Ela says her purpose is to inspire individuals down the path of good health and wellness. She attributes her success to strong advocacy skills and a good support system of family and friends. Ela feels that the biggest challenge that people with disabilities face is acceptance for who they are without a lot of stereotyping. Her philosophy is to live your personal journey without distrusting or judging yourself. Most importantly, accept that where you are is where you’re supposed to be.

Ela says that her yoga practice has improved her physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. She has learned to express and open herself while finding her own voice. I see Ela as a role model for many, showing that obstacles can be overcome while living our best life.