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Off The Mat & Into The World, by Isabelle Casey

I just got back from another Off The Mat Into The World training in the insanely beautiful Squaw Valley, California. This round was more like a reunion of Off The Mat Leaders. The emphasis was to action our purpose (cause) and to take a stand for it.

Let me back up for a few moments. For those of you who aren’t familiar, here’s some background on Off The Mat Into The World (OTMITW)… The mission is to use the depth and power of yoga to birth activism and promote social change. This was the initial vision of Seane Corn, Hala Khouri, & Suzanne Sterling who saw an opportunity to develop leaders from the yoga community. These trained leaders are helping to create awareness in a grass roots fashion around issues like sex trafficking, Aids, LBGT, Class, Race, and domestic violence. This is just a glimpse of the many sectors they have devoted their time and effort towards. The other key factor that makes this work is collaboration. All of them acknowledged that they would not be as successful creating movement and social change as individuals. Their strength comes from uniting. It literally takes a village.


Image courtesy of Future Cities Institute

The woman responsible for organizing and keeping the entire OTMITW organization moving forward is powerhouse yogi, Kerri Kelly. This woman is simply amazing. She has a work ethic like no one I’ve ever met. She’s bright, talented, and driven. She has a passion to share yoga and educate, in a very organized and thoughtful manner. I was so taken back from her selfless drive and compassion. There were many times I had to check myself as my mouth was wide open- astonished, inspired, and so full of gratitude to be experiencing the gift of this training.

Kerri Kelly

Our fearless leader, Kerri Kelly

I had a chance to check in with Seane & Suzanne at the Global Action Summit. Check out some snippets from our casual Q&A below:

Q: What inspired you to create OTMITW & where do you see  it in 10 years?

Seane: view here
Suzanne: view here: Part 1 & Part 2                      

Q: And last, a burning question for the ladies… 🙂

Seane: view here
Suzanne:  view here 

My big take away from the Global Action Summit is asking the question, What will I do? What will we do? I think its safe to assume that everyone on the planet is passionate about something and definitely has a purpose. When we know what we stand for, we have to do something about it outside of conversing. How are we serving beyond our practice or teaching. Where does that show up once we leave the comfort of our studio or homes. How is our yoga practice showing up off the mat? Think about it. What is your purpose? What are you doing about it?

For more information about how you can get involved, find your purpose, and take a stand for it visit the OTMITW website. Each of these extraordinary ladies offer many trainings. Get to know them better: Seane Corn, Suzanne Sterling, and Hala Khouri. As well as being leaders of OTMITW, they all lead their own programs, trainings, and workshops.

Global Action Summit, Squaw Valley 2013

Kira Karmazin of KiraGrace, Hala Khouri, Seane Corn, Suzanne Sterling, Maggie Martinez, & moi

OTMITW has partnered with KiraGrace in support of their efforts. Specifically, 100% of the profits from the sale of Warrior T-back tank is donated to the organization. Amazing. You can feel great knowing that your purchase is a contribution towards positive change.

KiraGrace Warrior T-back Tank


Niece Lucille Astor & Isabelle
I’m honored to continue to carry the torch for the Atlanta Yoga Scene community website.  I share yoga in weekly yoga classes, workshops, trainings, and retreats- local and abroad. If I’m not teaching, I’m at home practicing yoga, cooking, gardening, hanging in my hammock, trail-running with my hubby, and our fur-children: Ceasar & Vida Paloma. I love creating community and knowing my work lends to positive personal growth and spreading of the yoga tradition. For more information, go here.