Our first benefit movie night last Friday, of the screening of the fantastic Yogawoman film was a huge success! Such a positive energy enveloped the studio and I personally felt the exhileration of being together to support one another. We raised $1,009 that night! Thank you so much for attending and for donating to the Global Seva India 2012 to help end sex trafficking for victims of this horrible crime. A special thank you to Kevin, Janis, Craig, Kelly, Helen and Jen for your contributions to the evening. Thank you to everyone who came out and gave from the heart. I am so filled with gratitude.
    Yogawoman highlighted the beauty and power of yoga. In my teaching, it is important to me to educate my students about the fullness and richness of yoga as a tool for self-transformation and not just an exercise or activity to check off of the "to do " list. For me, my spiritual practice is daily and my intent is to practice throughout my day. I started (officially so to speak) with meditation, visualization and prayer around age 21 and by the age of 23 had a daily practice that has seen my through depression, bulimia, anxiety, marriage, divorce, health scares, career changes and starting a new life in which I have devoted to Spirit. I know first hand that if my students can stick through the "I can'ts" and "I'm afraid's" and through the pain that an inner exploration often reveals, that they will find a true sense of healing, empowerment and life purpose. I guess that is why I am so devoted to teaching and feel so inspired to keep learning and growing and evolving. 
    For women, yoga has become a real resource to tap into. But you have to give it time. When someone drops out of yoga, it's sad but also a reminder that everyone is travelling their own path and at their own rate of evolution. It takes a special kind of strength and courage to look at ourselves and allow healing to happen. It takes trust. Everytime we get onto our yoga mats, drop the story, live the moment, we empower ourselves and the asanas help us to gain confidence, self-acceptance and trust in our true self emerging. Yoga helps us let go of who we were told we are, what we have been conditioned to believe is possible for us and drop the self-limiting beliefs. If we are not allowing our energy to flow, then we are depressing our energy, causing all kinds of issues in our bodies and minds. I say YAY! Feel gratitude for your life and that you have the blessing of yoga in your life. Not everyone is so fortunate. Yoga, although challenging,  may just be the answer to the prayers you have made.
    Join us tonight and add your breath and your postures to the collective intention to free all beings from suffering. We will have a s yoga class that will make it possible for young girls and women to be safe and live free. Donations to the Global Seva welcome- suggested $5.
    Oh, and by the way, remember a few entries back about opening to miracles? Well I had the awareness in my morning meditation on Fri before the movie of raising $1008 but I didn't want to attach too much to that. I asked the Universe for support and then left it to That. When I found out after the movie that we had raised... $1009, I was flabergasted! How's that for a miracle? Jai Ma! Jai Shri Mahalakshmiyei!
    Tonight Community Yoga to End Sex Trafficking
    7:00- 8:00pm
    Four Winds Yoga, $5 suggested donation
    Come out and join the miracles and the movements
May All Beings Be Safe and Live With Dignity!
    Tonight is our first big benefit event at Four Winds Yoga for the Global Seva Challenge-India 2012 and I AM SO EXCITED, YOU HAVE NO IDEA! Tonight at 7:15pm we will be showing the most excellent, inspirational movie about yoga that I have ever come across in my almost 20 years of practice: Yogawoman: Never Underestimate the Power of Inner Peace. We are so happy to be hosting the kind of event in which EVERYONE BENEFITS. I know WHOLE-HEARTEDLY that everyone in attendance tonight will get something from watching this inspirational movie about women and yoga. I am personally inspired by this movie and it has already shaped and inspired my teaching and has contributed to the clarity I have about where I am evolving as a yoga teacher and dare I say, yoga activist (whew!). In addition, one of the best gifts that I have ALREADY recieved from signing on to the Global Seva Challenge is that I am clearer about how to put my practice into action AND more importantly to clear out some of my internal "stuff" around not feeling supported or feeling isolated in my mind from others. The Seva is saving me from the illusion of separation! Now keep in mind, I have been practicing daily for close to 18 years (time flies, yes?) so my practice has prepared me perfectly for where I am today. There is so much support everywhere for us to "download" into our systems and our hearts, when we have a inner experience of peace. It comes from connecting and honoring our heart's deepest desires. I have learned so much about being at peace with who I am and really going for what I want to manifest in this world. To hear a little more about my insights I will be talking and taking questions after the movie tonight.

    Please come tonight at 7:15pm. You will not regret it. On the contrary, I believe you will leave feeling inspired, transformed in some way, maybe see yourself in a new light. YOU WILL BE HELPING OTHER WOMEN AND GIRLS TO SEE THEMSELVES IN A NEW LIGHT AS WELL. 100% of all proceeds will go to women and girls and help them to feel love and care, to heal and have a chance to live with dignity. No one wants to be abused, enslaved or hurt. YOUR GENEROUS DONATION TONIGHT WILL GIVE SO MUCH. YET THERE IS SO MUCH MORE THAT WE RECIEVE FROM OUR ACTIONS OF COMPASSION AND GENEROSITY! Bring your best friends, daughters. Tell everyone!
                Yogawoman Movie Screening, 7:15pm
                Four Winds Yoga , Pennington NJ
www.fourwindsyoga.com for directions 
                Pre-register or drop-in
                Bring a cushion or pillow if you have one
                Tax deductible DONATION at the event/door
                Credit card or checks preferred
                Checks made out to "OTM/The Engage Network"
We also will have a small concession stand AND the exclusive pre-order of very cool yoga t-shirts available!  Reminder there is the Friday night "Slow Flow" All Levels Yoga class from 5:45- 6:45pm tonight.            
        Thank you in advance and sending you much love,
     Community yoga is a great concept: people coming to yoga class and money being directed to charity. What is community? How does one decide where the line is drawn? I like the definition of community taken from biology: a community is a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment.  All too often, we shrink our idea of community to our immediate surroundings, but we are also a part of a larger community that populates the entire world. Does that seem overwhelming to you? Yup, it sure can. But then again, the more we see ourselves as part of a greater whole, the more we act with consideration of how our choices, actions and lives effect the whole. If I know that my choice of taking a class will benefit not only me but a child or woman in another part of the world, won't that energy ripple into the world, create positive change and come right back to me as positive energy? That, my friends, is Karma. Karma is the universal principle that actions have consequences. We all know that when we do something from the heart, it immediately feels good. Like putting that $5 or $10 donation in the basket, or helping an elderly person reach a can from a high shelf in a supermarket, or allowing a person to go before you in line at the cash register because they seem to be more in a rush than you are. The feeling is immediate, we can exhale, we can let go of our tension. 
    Our class tonight will do so much to help others. Here are some projects you will be participating in creating by your donation:
1) Project Rehabilitation- Building a Sanlaap Shelter for 25 rescued girls from the redlight districts; provide food, shelter, medication, education and vocationsl skills training in a small rural town outside of Kolkata, India. Sustainable materials, clean running water. Physical building and one year running costs.
2) Made by Survivors Employment Center Expansion- train and employ 60 survivors of sex slavery as artisans in Kolkata and Mumbai and create a new center to empower and train women to make a living, education and job training for survivors and their children. Funding for next several years.
3) Mother Miracle School in Rishikesh which serves the slums of the poorest population and community (there's that word again!) A school to house computer training, women's empowerment program, electrician skills, English classes as well as other educational classes.
    Some idea of how your community can grow just by coming to class and/or making a donation, coming to Yogawoman Benefit Movie Screening this Fri, April 20 @ 7:15pm. Tell your friends! Tell everyone you know! Share it on Facebook! Pick up the telephone!
We are ALL ONE! Celebrate! There is much to be thankful for!
See you tonight!
    This film is so exciting to me because it celebrates the real beauty of women: our strength, our courage, our joy, our challenges in the face of a world that can be harsh and dismissive of us just because we are female. The rise of the feminine ideals of sharing, concern for others, service, living from the heart and having the natural capacity to be connected to our inner realm and stillness are what our world needs more than ever, regardless of whether we are male or female. We are mothers, mentors and grandmothers to the next generation of girls and boys and our yoga practices are helping us to see what Truth resides in our hearts, helping us to filter out the noise and busy-ness of the world (or at least that's what we're working on!) You can read more about this film at www.yogawoman.tv 
    Whatever yoga tradition you practice or whether you have never practiced yoga, this documentary film will help you see yourself in a new light! You will see average working women, moms and grandmoms, double-mastectomy survivors, large-bodied women, women of color and children in this film. You will leave feeling part of a global phenomenon of transformation. You are at the center of it! WE ARE AT THE CENTER OF IT!!!     It is my personal belief, as I wrote in past entries, that the world will only be transformed in the 21st century if women stand up and follow their hearts, their practices and be ok with who we really are! The ordinary woman in the average home will make more of a difference than the politcian in the White House (unless we get a woman there of course!). Our voices need to be heard! I'll have to write more about that later but for now...
    Please come to the first in our BENEFIT FILM SERIES that highlight the true beauty and power of spirit of WOMEN and GIRLS. Register for your spot at https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=160and tell every girl and woman you know to come. Registration is FREE online (okay to drop-in too). A donation at the door can be made to OTM/The Engage Network or with credit card online at the studio. 100% of all proceeds to help girls and women escape the horrors of sex traffikcing through Jill Gutowski's participation in the GLOBAL SEVA CHALLENGE-INDIA 2012. 
REGISTER NOW AT https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=160
    On March 27th, I shared with you the movement to get Village Voice Media to stop advertising for "escort services" on their Backpage section which promoted and supported the sex trafficking activities. I signed a petition on Change.org demanding that Village Voice stop this reprehensible advertising. Here is the rest of the story:

    On March 29, protesters delivered 100 pairs of girls' shoes to
Village Voice offices in New York, representing the children bought and sold for sex on the classifieds website Backpage.com, owned by Village Voice
    Along with the shoes came more than 225,000
on a petition on Change.org calling on Village Voice Media to stop allowing child sex traffickers and pimps to advertise on their site. But the ads for sex with minors are still running.
    Now, child sex trafficking survivor "Paula K." is asking the owners of Village Voice Media -- who were just revealed by New York Times
columnist Nick Kristoff (one of the authors of the book I recommend you read, HALF THE SKY) after intense investigation -- to use their power to stamp out child sex trafficking on Backpage.com for good. Paula started a petition on Change.org telling Village Voice Media co-owners Alta Communications and Brynwood Partners to do everything
in their power to shut down Backpage.com's adult ads section. Click here to sign Paula's petition now. 
    Paula was drugged and forced into prostitution when she was 15
years old. Now, having rebuilt her life, she is joining 51 State Attorneys
General, faith leaders and 10 U.S. Senators to publicly call on Village Voice
Media to shut down their adult ads where minors are sold for
    Already, several big name companies with stake in Village Voice
Media -- like Goldman Sachs -- have sold off their shares in response to the
pressure. Village Voice Media owners Alta Communications and Brynwood Partners are tied to big consumer brands like the Boston Celtics, Pretzel Flipz and Balance Bar. If they feel the prestige of those brands is on the line, the companies will have to take action to stop child sex
trafficking on Backpage.com. This is a real way that our efforts can make a difference!!! Paula has stood up for children and you and I can too. Please make a  donation to the Global Seva in my name so that your donation can save girls like Paula from the devastating and life-threatening results of sex trafficking! 
    Please come to a soulful Community Yoga Class tonight with Jill at Four Winds Yoga in Pennington, NJ, www.fourwindsyoga.com. Suggested donation is $5 and ALL proceeds will go towards ending sex trafficking through the Global Seva in collaboration with OFF THE MAT INTO THE WORLD. 
    And SAVE THE DATE for April 20th screening of the amazingly inspirational film Yogawoman. It is our FIRST BENEFIT EVENT and we would love to see you there. My next post tomorrow will be on the film and why it is such a great film for yogi's and non-yogi's alike!
    With great respect,
    May all beings know happiness and freedom!


    When I signed on to participate in the Global Seva India 2012, to end sex trafficking, I was very aware that I was taking a quantum leap forward. I knew it would require me to get out of my comfort zone and ask for help (something I find difficult- asking for something- I would much rather be the one asked). Anyhow, despite my thoughts swirling around about how this is really too much, I'm too busy, I probably can't do it and so why try.....it seemed as though another force was moving my hand to sign up. I actually didn't have much of a choice in a way. I had just told the teachers at our staff meeting a few weeks earlier, how I wanted to do some charity work for human trafficking and I knew putting it "out there" was making it more apt to come true. So, the Universe provided me with the opportunity to follow my heart, and take action on a big dream. In the Bhagavad Gita, there is a quote about doing your "work" or "duty"  and letting God take care of the rest. In otherwords, let go of the results you want, and focus on the process of doing your best regardless of the outcome. When we do something from the promptings of our heart it has power, if we are also doing it to benefit someone else, even more power. That in itself is a gift from the Divine. And I truly and deeply want to be of service to the Divine and to all.
    I opened myself up to the world of miracles too by signing on. I was in effect saying to the Universe, "OK, I'll do this, but you have to help me!" This thing of helping children and women to live a life free from the horrors of sex trafficking requires much more effort and backing than I could ever provide alone. I need other people to step up, especially if this issue of sexual exploitation touches something in them. I need "you" to be a partner in the dream. Taking a risk is uncomfortable and it means being vulnerable to criticism, self-doubt, putting our ego and "my needs" on the line for a greater good. Miracles are starting to happen...
    I look forward to sharing the many miracles of this journey with you as I continue on.
With deep respect and gratitude,
May all beings be happy and free!

Please join me and make a difference in the life of a child or woman. Allowing sex trafficking to proliferate in the 21st century is not an option. We must band together to end the inhumane treatment of the vulnerable, restore dignity to our fellow beings, and work for a better reality for all.
As I have been sharing with others (whom ever will lend a caring ear) about sex trafficking and my mission to be a part of a movement to end this horrendous crime, I get a sense that, people just don't know much about it or don't want to hear about something that disturbing, or have preconceived notions about sex trafficking or prostitution. That is why I am so darned determined to get the word out! Because if people knew what a crime against humanity it really is, they would naturally want to be a part of a solution! I believe in people, our common humanity and our strength to go beyond our comfort zone and perceived limitations. Let me bust some myths to get us started:
1) Prostitutes choose their "profession" and can get out of it if they wanted to . Prejudices may be that they are from a lower class, are not "good people" and like what they do.

The TRUTH is that in the sex trafficking industry, these prostitutes are victims often kidnapped or sold as CHILDREN. WE ARE TALKING CHILDREN MOST OFTEN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 12-14. SOME ARE TAKEN AND "INITIATED" AT 6 OR EVEN YOUNGER. The are sold for a profit often many times over, beaten and raped to break their spirits. They are indentured to their captors and are property. The children and young women are often from cultures that teach women to be subservient and are very poor. It is unbelievable that a parent, sibling or family member can be so poor as to sell their child into sex slavery. Sex slaves are kidnapped around the world, in the US, in NJ, and can come from any socioeconomic background. UNDER THOSE CIRCOMSTANCES, IT IS INSANE TO THINK A CHILD OR WOMAN WOULD LIKE THIS INHUMANE TREATMENT. So to be clear, even if a woman makes it into her late teens and 20's, she likely was brought in as an innocent child. Having sex with a "virgin" in some cultures occurs because it is a myth that doing so will cure the male of AIDS. Because of this and that the victims are unprotected, they often contract AIDS and die at an early age. **To read more about the sex trafficking industry read HALF THE SKY by Kristoff and WuDunn and/or THE ROAD OF LOST INNOCENCE: THE TRUE STORY OF CAMBODIAN HEROINE SOMALY MAM.

2) We cannot do much about ending sex trafficking. It's bigger than anything "I" can do about it. I have enough to worry about in my own life. I can't contribute to everything. Someone else will be better able to help than me.

THE TRUTH IS change happens one person sticking their neck out at a time. We can make a difference. Off the Mat Into the World has an excellent track record and you can read more at www.offthematintotheworld.org . IF WE ONLY HELP ONE GIRL, ONE CHILD, AND HELP THEM OUT OF A LIVING HELL AND HAVE HOPE AND KNOW THAT THEY ARE PRECIOUS AND CARED FOR, IS THIS A LOSS? IS THIS NOT WORTH A FEW DOLLARS? IS THAT ONE CHILD'S LIFE NOT WORTH OUR SMALL BUT COMPASSIONATE EFFORT? There is so much to "give" to. But the cruelty, abuse, hopelessness that these children and women face is unbearable to me. We are the change we wish to see. We are talking extreme abuse and to know it exists, even if we turn away, on some level we still know. It will take only a small act to feel we are contributing to that child's life. President Obama spoke last week about pledging to make a difference in human trafficking. Read more here http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates/889.

I will be sharing about my participation in the Global Seva and why I am so determined, passionate, and clear about ending sex trafficking after three of my classes, please come to lend a compassionate ear and allow me to tell you why this is important to me and each of us as a global family. I will speak and answer questions after class (no more than 20-30min)
The dates are:
Mon, April 9 after my 5:45-6:45pm Core class
Tues, April 10 after my 9:15- 10:30am Yoga class
Thurs, April 12 after my 5:45- 7:15pm Yoga class
I look forward to seeing you there!

To make a donation click on the "Donate Now" button.
Go to the "India" Global Seva section.
Choose my name "Jill Gutowski" from the drop-down menu of participants.
(That way your contribution will count towards my goal of $20,000)
With Deep Respect,
May all beings know happiness, kindness and freedom!
    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!


    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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