Sex trafficking of girls and boys on Backpage.com, owned by Village Voice
Media, is becoming a disturbing trend.A Georgia man was arrested for pimping two 17-year-old girls around the Nashville area. Detectives responded to a suspicious ad on Backpage.com and drove to a motel. There, they found the teens and their 37-year-old pimp, as well as a laptop computer, likely used for the online advertising. Just four days prior to that, four people in Denver were arrested for forcing a teen girl into
prostitution. They also advertised her sexual services, including semi-nude
pictures, on Backpage. And last year, a South Dakota couple was arrested for selling underage girls for sex on .... wait for it ... Backpage.com yet again.
Village Voice Media has a moral responsibility to ensure that young
girls and boys aren't being abused in the commercial sex industry with help from their website.
Now, a rising movement of people of many faiths and backgrounds, motivated by their shared moral convictions, are taking action to end this practice. Please join us in demanding that Village Voice Media - Backpage.com's parent company - stop selling ads that others use to sell minors on Backpage.com by shutting down the Adult section of the website. Sign the petition at:
http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-village-voice-media-to-stop-child-sex-trafficking-on-backpagecom
Thank you!
And please donate to end sex trafficking at www.fourwindsyoga.com by clicking on the DONATE NOW button. When on the OFF the Mat website, please choose JILL GUTOWSKI's name from the drop down list so that your donation will go towards my compaign to end sex trafficking.
May All Beings Know Peace and Happiness!
 
 
It is difficult NOT to be inspired after such a powerful workshop this afternoon. I taught the Spring Detox Workshop to what ended up to be a group of all women (our one man had to leave before it barely got started). We talked about all the toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis and how we can do alot to clear the body, mind, emotions and access our spirit. The asana practice was sweaty and good, the pranayama peaceful, the chanting was angelic, the sitting meditation was very comforting. It takes intent, practice, encouragement and inner resources. The Dalai Lama was quoted as saying the the world would be saved by Western women. What prompted him to say that? I believe that he is right in the sense that we have the most opportunity of women around the globe and we are the mothers, wives and sisters that can influence others and especially the next generation. Don't get me wrong, men can be empowered and change the world too. But they will need to access the feminine aspects of their nature: cooperation and sharing vs. individual achievement and climbing the ladder of success. We all have this receptive, nurturing, sharing and compassionate nature and we need to access it not only for our own good but the good of all.
If I must say, I don't think the DL was off his rocker! Western women practicing yoga and the prevalence of women teaching yoga is changing the face of yoga. Can we harness that energy for the good of all? Can we shift our focus from achieving some mythical state of beauty, personal wealth, dominance and the "me" mentality? Can we move more towards honoring the beauty within all, that wealth is meant to be shared and can ONLY be truly found within our own being in practice, and that no one wins when there is a loser? Good questions. Let's find our own answers WITHIN and WITH ONE ANOTHER FOR SUPPORT. COME OUT AND SUPPORT A GREAT CAUSE THAT WILL BENEFIT OUR SISTERS AND CHILDREN IN INDIA....

Join us for YOGAWOMAN THE MOVIE ON FRI, APRIL 20 @ 7:15PM. SIGN UP ONLINE AT WWW.FOURWINDSYOGA.COM
DONATIONS AT THE DOOR TO BENEFIT GLOBAL SEVA: END SEX TRAFFICKING NOW!

 
 
Since launching this campaign on Feb 24, 2012, I am blown away by the support and generosity of others in an effort to put an end to the criminal practice of sex slavery. To date we have raised $2529. By the end of March our goal is to raise $471. So if by the end of this week we could raise $235 and next week we could also raise $235, we would be chugging right along. Will you help us to help countless female children and women to find a way out? Reaching out to a person in need makes things change- one person at a time. Tell a friend, there are many ways to help:
  • Use the "Donate Now" button and make a secure donation to the Global Seva Challenge through the name of participant, Jill Gutowski. (Remember $235 this
  • Tell as many people as possible about our Wed Night Community Yoga Class 7:00- 8:00pm. REjuvenate in a yoga class and donate to help others.
  • Attend our Movie Night and SEE the AMAZING film YOGAWOMAN (register online at www.fourwindsyoga.com) Come with your friends, your daughter or son, your partner! Bring your popcorn! 
  •  
 
 
Sex sells. Sexy is always "in" especially in our society. But talking about sex trafficking is on the taboo side. I find it interesting that unlike feeding the poor, or raising money for breast cancer (both honorable and needed), when it comes to forced sexual exploitation, we just want to shut the door and turn the page even if we do on some level "care". A friend was telling me that they watched the posted video half-way and then turned it off. I have to say, I also had that same reaction. However, it's getting ourselves through the uncomfortability of the subject that will allow us to get to the other side of horror-- healing. The Buddha suggested strongly that we do not turn away from suffering, to look it in the face and go through it. When confronted by a student or villager that was going through some difficult life problem, a respected elder Buddhist teacher, Ajahn Chah, asked his students, "Can you bear it?" In other words, can you bear witness to the suffering without turning away, numbing out or pretending it doesn't exist? All beings suffer. Can we bear witness to their suffering and our own? It is only when we go through it, that we can see ourselves as free. True inner freedom comes from bearing witness to the suffering of others and our own with compassion and wisdom. That compassion and wisdom calls us to action- compassionate action. The truth is that more women and children are shipped into brothels each year in the early 21st century than African slaves in the 18th or 19th centuries. Many die of AIDS by their late 20's. As many as 1 million children are forced into prostitution EVERY YEAR worldwide. Capitalism and the "sex sells" mentality has created new markets for female sex slaves. Please, although it is disturbing, we can do something about this. Through Off the Mat Into the World, we can raise the funds to help these children and women who need us to bear their suffering. We can make a difference! We must...
With great respect, may all beings know happiness and freedom.

 
 
I chose the name "sharing off the mat" because it seemed to convey the meaning and purpose of not only the site, but my view of what yoga practice really is about. With www.sharingoffthemat.weebly.com I am able to share with you, about the Global Seva India 2012 and the journey of the commitment to raise $20,000 to help end sex trafficking in India and beyond. I can share the stories of victims that have no voice. I can also share with the survivors, the goodwill, good energy and monetary support of many people who are contributing to this fundraising, and consciousness-raising effort. To date, since making my Global Seva commitment public on Feb 24, we have raised over $2,000! That's 10%! We are off to a good start! Give me a chance to tell you why you should care and what you will gain from contributing your time and energy. Yoga is "skill in action" and to take action is how the 21st century yoga is going to evolve. What we do on our yoga mats to get clear, get REAL, and let go of fear helps us to then offer our gifts to others. Sharing is the ultimate yoga practice! It's the difference of being a straw instead of a cup. A cup collects and contains. A straw allows things to move through it. I LOVE the idea of being a straw! My practice of yoga is to be a channel for the Light and the Energy to move through me to benefit all beings. Then instead of just a receiver, we can become more of a sharer! With great respect, may all beings be free.
 
 
A short video about modern slavery and how people like you and I can make a difference. Thank you for watching! Namaste
 
 
I am so excited to get this blog started! Due to my technical naivete, it took me a little bit, but here it is! I can now keep you informed of my year-long commitment to end sex trafficking-fundraising effort, through the Global Seva Challenge India 2012, in collaboration with Off the Mat, Into the World. My hope is to inspire you to join me in raising awareness about the sex trafficking industry as well help me to meet my goal of raising $20,000 for Off the Mat Into the World. All the proceeds raised will go towards providing refuge, rehabilitation and economic opportunities for survivors, and empower them to live with dignity and respect. 

 
 
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    Please help end sex trafficking and make a tax deductible donation. Remember to list my name " Jill Gutowski" as the participant you are donating in the name of. Thank you so much!

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    Jill Gutowski has been a practitioner of hatha yoga, meditation and holistic healing for over 18 years.  She teaches in the Princeton, NJ area.

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