Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mi Khamokha

Last night was the annual Auction for the kids' elementary school. It's a very exciting night because it is so so so so important that we bring in lots of money...seeing as we are a public school in a city with serious budget constraints on the education front (I have no doubt that many cities have serious budget constraings when it comes to education, but New York City is particularly "interesting" in this respect because much of the city's "big money", a/k/a political influence, sends their children to private school; thus there is somewhat less impetus here to fund public education through tax money).

In the past few years, the Auction has brought in upwards of $100,000! Last year, Judy Gold, the comedienne and MNS mom, was our Mistress of Ceremonies. This year, her Show's run was extended, so we were sans celebrity, but one of the dads did served as auctioneer, and he was actually quite funny, without all the vulgarity (Judy to a raucous crowd: "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Judy trying to get people to bid higher, "You CHEAP BASTARDS!! Your kids are getting a free education! What the fuck is the matter with you people?").

I don't know what the Auction brought in this year, as the numbers aren't up yet on the school's website. But I do know that one of the class projects (each class works on its own project, like a quilt or a decoupaged bench, or a mosaic, which gets auctioned off in a silent auction) went for over $1,500. And five 60-minute yoga classes with me went for nearly $500 via silent auction. The Live Auction portion of the night is always exciting, with packages that this year , among other things, a trip to Aruba, a private cruise around Manhattan and a night as guest-bartender at a nightclub. These packages bring in thousands of dollars each, which is pretty wild when you think about it.

But the most amazing part of the night was something that I had never seen before: a Reverse Auction to raise $10,000 for a new basketball court in one of the recess yards behind the school. In past years, the "Basketball Yard" was the highlight of many a boy's school day. After school, boys from all different grades would gather for a pick-up game on all but the rainiest of days (snow didn't seem to stop them). It was great for the boys, and great for the moms, who got to hang out on the bleachers and chat and relax while the boys played like mad, all in the safety of the enclosed schoolyard. Then this year, the basketball court was dismantled. It was just too old to be safe. A bunch of us thought that we could pool together a couple hundred dollars and replace the hoops. No. Turns out that to do it right, it costs ten thousand bucks. So, at the end of the Auction, they offered up the Reverse Auction.

Instead of asking for increasingly high bids, the Reverse Auction asked for bids of $1,000, then $750, then $500, all the way down to $25. Instead of offering a prize package, the Reverse Auction offered the possibility of doing something good for the school, directly. Right from the very beginning, from the first, "Do I hear a thousand?" paddles were waving. Ten thousand dollars was racked up in less than five minutes. I felt like crying. When we came home, we woke Brian up to tell him the amazing news.

Practice was uneventful other than running into T, who teaches at Om and who was in the very first yoga class I ever taught. She had come with a friend, but Sir wasn't allowing drop-ins today, so she ended up observing instead of practicing. I always seem to run into T in the context of, as one of my shalamates calls it, "yoga tourism". Last time I ran into her was at Universal Force Healing Center, a primarily Kundalini studio. Now that I think about it, that was nearly two years ago. Jeez, time flies.

Only six backbends today. I just didn't have "khai" in me today.

Good news: I'm noticing that I'm less tired by the end of my practice though. I am floored when I think back to the first half led primary class i took with Govinda Kai, when I thought I was going to die if I had to do one more chatturanga, and that was probably sometime around "Johnny" A, when I thought it was INSANE that people were reaching their hands beyond their feet and grabbing their wrists and when GK kept urging me to lift up in Uthpluti, and I was like, "Dude, it's just not gonna happen in this lifetime." I guess that really was another lifetime.

The endless refrain: The Asthanga asana system really works, it's an utterly ingenious design.

Made a yummy chai today when I came home. Still haven't eat breakfast. What to eat, what to eat....

Mi Khamokha!


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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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