Times That Bind

Be Well Be Happy

For most of us, much has changed since Sandy. We became stronger as a community, supporting one another with the cleanup and everything else that needed to be done to return to our homes and businesses.  Unfortunately, there are still some who are not in their homes.

At the time of Sandy, I was running Ocean Bliss Yoga out of Mrs. Elaine’s Dance Studio.  We had a beautiful community and were growing day by day simply by word of mouth. Within two months after Sandy, we were able to open our doors again to offer free classes for the first week and then if anyone had a hardship, we worked with them to provide this necessary healing service.  

Our community grew with new students who began to come to our studio due to the loss of their dedicated space. Our doors were wide open and we welcomed all.  Yoga is all about healing from within and there was no question that we now had a population that needed to heal while dealing with the emotional traumas, anxiety, and depression post-Sandy.  Our yoga studio began to offer a variety of different styles of yoga to fit each student such as restorative, yin, gentle, yoga nidra and open flow vinyasa.  

Many from our community were not back in their homes, but we opened our doors to the few that were back with the support of Elaine Freeburg, my dearest friend and dance studio owner who has since passed away from breast cancer. She also opened the dance studio even though many children were still not back in their homes.  Elaine knew that dance would be a great form of therapy for the children of Rockaway. Out of the terrible storm, she re-opened the dance studio and we re-opened the yoga studio and so many came to our sacred space.-HELEN

I left for Baja, Mexico on or about October 10, 2012 for my yoga teacher training at Yandara Yoga Institute.  At this point in my life, I knew, I just knew, that this is what I wanted to do and this is what I should do.

I received many affirmations to support this and set up my work schedule and home life so that I could do it.  I was in a remote place with no internet.  I did text home every day, but other than that, no communication.  Total real immersion in learning and sharing from early morning to late at night.  Long story short, I arrived home on November 10 to the devastation and disaster. 

Not too long after, Helen opened her heart and space to those who would come.  I did.  And she offered to me, just like that, a yoga class to guide.  The only classes I guided were those few at the end of our training.  She had faith in the flow of what was supposed to be and become. I came back to the studio with some training and she opened her heart to allow me to be in front of the room.

Helen’s yoga studio was one of the many, many engines that started up after a disastrous hiatus.  There were many, many kind words and many, many acts of kindness. 

I would like to take a moment to remember everyone who gave help, kindness, aid, support, labor, supplies, smiles, pies (we had a man and his daughter I think from NJ coming around near Thanksgiving with apple and pumpkin pies!), food, generators, etc. – too numerous to mention.

United we stand and continue to live and offer gratitude to all in our community for rising above with grace, balance and strength.  As I always say in yoga class:  GBS like GPS!  - PAULETTE

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