California Charity

Los Angeles has been reeling a bit in the wake of the earthquake in Japan, and for good reason.  There’s a bunch of fault lines in California and a damn large one runs right through downtown.

There has been a fair amount of coverage in the papers on the quake, unusual for a town whose business section cover is usually reporting the latest box office stats of “Mars Needs Moms”.  I have learned rather a lot about tsunamis.  For instance, though the wave itself may not be high – say 3 feet in Santa Monica – the current is significantly changed and the undertow can rip you out to sea in moments.  Also, the front line of the wave isn’t the dangerous part.  It is the fact that the water picks up debris (like, say, an 18 wheeler) thereby arming itself on its destructive jaunt through the countryside.  I am mesmerized by the footage.

I went to a totally unrelated charity event on Saturday (though I did hop on line and made a donation to the earthquake relief through the Red Cross).  This was called “Yoga Stops Traffic” and was a benefit for the Odanadi Seva Trust, which is an organization in India that is involved in rescuing people from lives of indentured servitude and prostitution through education and rehabilitation (and sometimes kidnapping or the purchasing of their freedom).  There were 140 yoga classes held worldwide in 36 different countries.  The class was led by a wonderful teacher named Daniel Overberger.

Daniel is a southern fellow and he leads his classes like a gentle baptist preacher with a bit of a potty mouth.  I like his classes very much, not unaided by the fact that they take place outdoors in Runyon Canyon.  There is something fantastic about stretching out under a wide blue sky in the middle of a vast park.

Daniel standing, John Buchan all in black to his right, Jessica Porter in long sleeve blue shirt, me in burgundy T-Shirt doing something un-yoga like with my foot.  And possibly swearing.

Charity yoga in a canyon, you say?  That sounds like some ridiculous California stereotype.  Did I strap on my birkenstocks, carefully avoiding my braided leg hair, throw on a poncho and a spritz of patchouli from a non aerosol bottle and make my way there gentle humming Grateful Dead tunes?  No, I did not.  Nor did I don a full set of Lululemon groove activewear,  toss my freshly bleached extensions into a scrunchie and jog up to the park after carefully purging my half grapefruit and iceberg lettuce breakfast.  I love it here, but I have not become it here.  My Canadian cyni-hide is still as thick as ever.


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