Inspired Movement: An Evening of Yoga and Inspiration

On a warm evening in April, people came together to take part in a practice that has me navigate great trauma and loss. I, along with Maria Kelly, the founder and executive director of AMOR Healing Kitchen, a non-profit organization based in Charleston, SC, designed this event in order to share stories of how yoga and meditation help us to see what’s important and to find strength in challenging times.

AMOR, like With Purpose, is an organization born out of loss. Maria found solace in preparing food during her mother’s struggle against cancer. These dishes were a comfort to the both of them. Later, she decided to combine cooking with her love of working with young people. Maria works with teen volunteers to prepare nutritious meals for people undergoing major medical treatment. Although our organizations may have different means of doing so, we share a passion to help people. When the idea came about to hold an event raising awareness and funds for our organizations, we knew we wanted it to surround another common passion of ours: yoga.

I started practicing yoga consistently about a year before Sam died. In the months preceding Sam’s death, yoga became something much more than exercise. It helped me find the spaces between negative thoughts constantly tormenting me. It helped me to notice things that I had not paid attention to before. I began to focus on the peaceful spaces between inhale and exhale and the still space between heartbeats. In those spaces I found peace. I found quiet. I found respite from the harsh reality that I wouldn’t get to keep Sam.

These days, yoga still feeds me. It help me find the spaces between and it’s in those spaces between that I find Sam. Through Inspired Movement, I hoped to share this practice and what it has meant to me. Through this event, we were able to raised $2,500 for AMOR Healing Kitchen and With Purpose. But it’s not all about the money. It’s also about finding the spaces between. It’s in those spaces that we can find those we’ve lost. Calm moments in our busy lives. The passion and strength to carry on.

Erin Benson