Most of us awoke Friday morning to the devastating and tragic news of an 8.9 earthquake rocking Japan and causing one of the largest and most powerful tsunamis to ever hit the country. Aid workers and relief organizations from all over the world soon descended on the country to offer help.
A small group of children here in Portsmouth are also answering the call with the help of the Tenth Gate Center for Yoga and Meditation.
Lynda West, Tenth Gate children’s yoga instructor, will lead a one-hour Family Yoga class with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the relief fund.
The class involves traditional Vinyasa poses in a playful, fun way with music and creative movement. This class is open to adults and children of all ages and the cost is $15 per family.
West was inspired when she noticed in her regularly scheduled Saturday morning children’s yoga class of 5 to 9 year-olds, they were feeling “extra fidgety” and clearly noticed “something was going on.”
In the sharing circle time, West says, “one of the children brought up Japan and we talked about it.”
“They asked very brave and open questions about the situation," she said. “Some were sad and some were confused, but they spent the time talking and sending positive energy” to the people of the devastated area.
“The children need some kind of closure, they need to know what is the next step, and for all of us here, this is the next step," West said.
Tenth Gate will also offer “An Afternoon of Healing” on Saturday, April 2, with various services being offered such as Reiki, reflexology and Thai massage.
The 20-minute sessions will cost $20 and those proceeds, as well as all proceeds from the days' scheduled classes will go to the relief fund.
Tenth Gate works with the International Medical Corps and in 2010, with a similar effort, raised $4,000 for the Haitian earthquake victims. Reinette Fournier, Tenth Gate owner, "hopes to do the same for Japan.”
West and Tenth Gate will follow up with the IMC and keep the children posted on what the money raised will do for the people of the country.
Class space is limited. Online sign-up is available or you may call the studio to make reservations.
For more information, visit the Web site at Tenth Gate Center For Yoga and Meditation.