YFA Articles

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  • 26 Jul 2022 3:20 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)

    Welcome to the Yoga for Arthritis monthly blog series that features our YFA members' hard work, dedication, & passion. Without the ongoing efforts of these standout members, we would not be where we are today. 

    How has yoga impacted your life?

    Yoga impacted my life in so many ways and I am forever grateful. Yoga taught me to release judgment of my changing body with arthritis, to adapt, to find peace in meditation, to connect to nature and to feel devotion and surrender. 

    Yoga is a holistic practice and by adding components of yoga to my life, including meditation, physical yoga practices, breathing exercises, relaxation, positive thinking and studying yogic philosophy, it has changed my life. From a 200HR yoga teacher training at Yandara Institute, to spending a lot of time at Sivananda ashrams in the Laurentians and the Bahamas engaging in Karma Yoga and the traditional yogic lifestyle, I experienced profound healing and love. 

    My arthritis continued to progress and it led me to becoming an accessible yoga teacher, yoga for arthritis teacher and to presently, studying Yoga Therapy.

    How did you find YFA? How has YFA helped you?

    My Chair Yoga teacher Stacey Doorek recommended I reach out to Dr. Steffany Moonaz and I was so lucky to find her and her team. YFA has helped me learn how to be a better yoga teacher, they have provided me with the knowledge and research I need to thrive as a yoga for arthritis teacher.

    Where did you get trained and with whom?

    YFA Introductory Course & YFA Level 1 with Dr. Steffany Moonaz in 2018 and 2019

    Is there anything else you'd like to say about Yoga for Arthritis?

    Yoga is healing. Yoga For Arthritis considers what someone living with arthritis of various types goes through, on a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual level, as well as, the medical interventions involved - it also considers the whole person. As someone living with systemic arthritis, this was such a big deal for me. Yoga For Arthritis is a powerful complimentary health approach for managing one's arthritis and chronic pain.

    Let us know when and where we can find your classes?

    I have taken a pause from teaching regular classes to study yoga therapy, expand my offerings on my free YouTube channel, The RA Yogi, and to film a yoga for arthritis TV series which I will share more about in the next few months on instagram and Facebook @the.ra.yogi 

    I will resume teaching in the near future and will keep you updated!

    Where can people connect with you?

    YouTube @ The RA Yogi | Instagram and Facebook @the.ra.yogi | email: julia@rayogi.com

    Any Additional Information You'd Like to Share?

    My go-to yoga quotes: 

    "I bend so I don't break" 

    "Every day, in every way, I flow the blessings of the universe"

    "Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu" - May all beings everywhere be happy and free.

    Julia McNally

    Julia McNally is a certified yoga instructor and yoga therapist in training. Julia has taught a number of yoga styles including chair yoga, meditation, hatha, vinyasa, yin, restorative, and yoga for arthritis. In recent years, she has focused on yoga for arthritis as someone living with rheumatoid arthritis herself for over 30 years and experiencing the progression of the chronic illness. She is also the founder of The RA Yogi YouTube channel; providing accessible yoga videos for arthritis online. Julia is passionate about yoga being a complimentary health approach, rheumatoid arthritis patient advocacy, and living well with arthritis. Inspiring others through yoga to live well too.



  • 30 May 2022 8:29 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)



    Happy PRIDE Month, YFA! I feel a little uncomfortable with that wording. Yes, there is so much to celebrate in the progress that has been achieved, and the queer community knows how to celebrate like few others. But there is also so much to be concerned about and so much work to be done. (I promise this is relevant to arthritis. If you don’t see it yet, just bear with me.)

    If you follow me personally on social media, you may know that there are some crazy things happening in our school district. This is the town where I grew up. And after 20 years in Baltimore City (which I love, with all of its grit and charm and beauty and challenges), we moved closer to family. (I’m working on a memoir about that experience, so you’ll have to wait if you want to hear more about it.) My kids would have a neighborhood without traffic to play in, access to a great school system, and most importantly, they would grow up seeing more family on a weekly basis. It didn’t hurt that we would also have the social and structural support that nearby family provides (arthritis relevance here too).

    But the social dynamics in the schools have not advanced with the times as much as I had expected. It is a mostly white, Christian, affluent, politically centrist (but slightly right-leaning) community. But in the '80s and '90s, those with other identities were generally treated as welcome neighbors. As politics across the country have become more polarized, so has my community, and so has the school district. School board meetings routinely make the national news for the inflammatory comments and decisions that are made, and the failure to denounce bad behavior. There have been multiple decisions that the Pennsylvania ACLU has labelled as a hostile environment, specifically for queer students. Their legal director, Witold Walczak stated, “We haven’t looked and done the legal analysis on each of those discrete actions, but when you take them all together, it’s hard not to conclude that this is a systemic assault on a protected group of students. That raises real concerns about whether the district is creating a hostile educational environment, which is illegal under federal anti-discrimination and civil rights laws.” 

    I have previously shared, with my daughter’s permission, that she identifies as bisexual and is therefore part of this protected group of students who are not being protected. PRIDE flags are being removed from classrooms and from students’ hands. Preferred names and pronouns are being rejected. Award-winning books that have been a lifeline for queer students are listed for a potential library ban. A beloved queer ally on the faculty has been suspended without explanation. 

    Some might wonder why I would stay in this environment rather than moving my kids to a more queer-friendly school district, especially since I identify as queer myself and know from experience how it feels to see and hear messages that marginalize my identity. One reason is that my family is still here, which is invaluable. Another is that we can’t always run away from hostile environments. As a Jewish American, I know the importance of leaving a place when it is too unsafe to stay. But where is the balance between the need to flee and the importance of staying to challenge/change the system despite the discomfort?

    Teaching my kids what it looks like to stand up for the vulnerable and marginalized among us- to speak truth to power even when the odds are long- is an opportunity. Teaching them how to notice the discomfort and use it as a motivation for discerned action will serve them for a lifetime. Helping them to know their own unconditional worth despite what they may see and hear around them transcends the limitations of their school library offerings. (Do you see the arthritis parallels yet?)

    In recent months, I have started drafting a proposal for the first of 3 grants in a multi-year project that would develop and evaluate a yoga intervention for kids with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. If you search a research database now, you will not see a single paper on this topic- not a case study, not a clinical perspective, not a pilot. It just isn’t there. But I have worked with countless adults who were diagnosed with arthritis at a young age and every one of them wishes that they were exposed to yoga sooner. I have also worked with hundreds of kids with arthritis and their parents are searching for anything beyond their medical care that might help their kids to be resilient and to thrive.

    Kids with arthritis are facing a hostile environment. Even if they are fortunate enough to have a supportive family, access to quality healthcare, and an understanding school system, they will face countless challenges because of their arthritis. While the resources available for these kids has improved dramatically in recent decades, there is still a lot of work to do. Imagine how the trajectory of life with arthritis might be different for a child who learns how to regulate their nervous system with their breath, how to modify their movements according to their symptoms, how to reframe their personal narrative toward gratitude and contentment and a connection with their own inner wisdom. Imagine how their disease might be different, or how they might be different with their disease. Imagine who they might become if they know their own unconditional worth despite what they might hear or see around them.

    I was raised to be an ally and I was born with a dharma to reduce suffering in the world by transforming how people live with pain. This means taking action in my community to support marginalized students and it means bringing the tools of yoga to kids with systemic arthritis. There is much to be proud of in all we’ve accomplished- how much more acceptance and tolerance and understanding there can be for our kids than for generations before. Let’s celebrate that. And let’s keep working because there is still so much more to be done.


  • 30 May 2022 4:39 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)


    Welcome to the Yoga for Arthritis monthly blog series that features our YFA members hard work, dedication, & passion. Without the ongoing efforts of these standout members, we would not be where we are today. 

    How has yoga impacted your life?

    It’s been huge. Not just asana with all its benefits but the spiritual practices of meditation and pranayama. For me, the work of letting go of striving and control and finding the middle way has been life changing. Yoga taught me to let go of perfection, listen to and be kind to my body, and stay in this moment, not the future or the past. It’s a work in progress for sure. I have been blessed with a series of wonderful teachers and often feel the strength and guidance of the long lineage of yogis standing with me as I practice.

    How did you find YFA? How has YFA helped you?

    Before the pandemic, I would sometimes see that Dr. Moonaz was offering a weeklong training nearby but the dates never worked out for me. When I learned that the teacher training was being offered virtually on weekends, I signed up. Zoom was a challenge at first but Dr. Moonaz was so adept at using this technology that it soon faded into the background. She is an amazing teacher and researcher, and she has this great way of giving clear, useful feedback grounded in science and compassion.

    Where did you get trained and with whom?

    I completed level one with Dr. Moonaz over Zoom in March 2022

    Is there anything else you'd like to say about Yoga for Arthritis?

    The Yoga for Arthritis course was full of relevant anatomy/physiology and best asana practice for those with arthritis. The highlight, though, was the integration with yoga philosophy, yamas and niyamas, and breath work. These are what makes yoga Yoga!

    Let us know when and where we can find your classes?

    I just moved back to Saratoga, New York so I don’t yet have a teaching schedule. My plan is to approach the local senior center and mental health agency in the fall.

    Where can people connect with you?

    Email: svkkyt@gmail.com

    Shelley Van Kempen

    My professional career was as a registered nurse then later, a psychiatric nurse practitioner working with severe persistent mental health issues. I began taking yoga at age 59 after a rheumatologist diagnosed me with OA and told me the best treatment was to “just keep moving.” I’m not a gym person so I decided to try Yoga and I have been practicing now for 13 years. In 2015-16 I took yoga teacher training at Kripalu with the goal of bringing yoga to older folks like myself. I taught a class for older adults and a chair class at our local YMCA before multiple family health issues pulled me away from teaching for a few years. I’d had my eye on Dr. Moonaz and Yoga for Arthritis for several years and finally had the opportunity to train with her. My goal is to share what I’ve learned, especially those new to or wary of Yoga.


  • 22 Mar 2022 11:11 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)

    I recently received an email from the Osteoarthritis Action Alliance in recognition of Obesity Care Week 2022. It outlined 5 pillars that would be the week's focus, along with a link to their website at ObesityCareWeek.org. The pillars included "5 core issues that negatively impact people with obesity":

    • Recognition: the way we care for obesity should be based on health and science, not stigma.
    • Weight Bias: obesity is not an appropriate measure for a person’s worth or abilities.
    • Access to Care: proven obesity treatments should be accessible and affordable for everyone.
    • Science-based Treatment: “eat less and move more” is not a magic cure for obesity.
    • Prevention: prevention programs should be science-based and improve health.

    On the surface, this seems like a step forward in the conversation about body size and health, realizing the impact of stigma and bias, as well as problems with access and the false promise of one-size-fits-all interventions. But that is what makes it even more problematic in my view. This text still uses the term "obesity", which is standard language in the medical community AND is itself stigmatizing. It also perpetuates the notion that having a larger body is a disease, even if it is one that shouldn't be tied to "a person's worth or abilities". And lastly, it suggests that science should be harnessed to prevent people from having large bodies.

    Bodies come in different sizes for different reasons. We no longer bind people's feet to keep them from becoming too large, nor do we stretch kids to ensure they reach an acceptable height. A larger body is not necessarily a diseased body, and a small body is not necessarily a healthy one. As an organization that focuses on arthritis thriving, we recognize the role of body size on joint health, and the relationship between inflammation and fat tissue. We can recognize the science and use that information to propose person-centered strategies for healthy living at any size and any body composition. People of any size can strengthen stabilizing muscles to improve joint stability. People of any size can reduce inflammation through lifestyle choices and conventional medicine.

    I had a conversation a few years back with Amber Karnes on this topic, where we discussed the science and some of the tensions between medical convention and lived experience for people with larger bodies. The recording can be found here:

    https://arthritis.yoga/news/7985305

    My thinking on this topic continues to evolve as I learn more about the emerging biopsychosocial science, and about the lives of people impacted by this topic. Experience in any kind of privileged class begs us to keep examining and re-examining our assumptions in this regard. As someone who has always lived in a smaller body, I appreciate the opportunity to continue learning from those with different perspectives. In contrast to "Obesity Care Week", Yoga for Arthritis wants to take this opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful bodies that are part of our community, each with its own set of strengths and challenges to celebrate and learn from.


  • 21 Mar 2022 9:35 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)

    Welcome to the Yoga for Arthritis monthly blog series that features our YFA members hard work, dedication, & passion. Without the ongoing efforts of these standout members, we would not be where we are today. 

    How has yoga impacted your life?

    Yoga has impacted my life by giving me a philosophy and practice that can adapt to my body’s needs. Dealing with pain and injuries that can spring up at any time, I can get frustrated with what I can/cannot do on any given day. Working with Dr. Steffany Moonaz and reading her book, Yoga Therapy for Arthritis: A Whole-Person Approach to Movement and Lifestyle, gave me the validation and tools I needed to restart my practice with the modifications I needed.

    One of the most meaningful things yoga has taught me is a way to connect my mind, body, and spirit which translates to a calmer demeanour and more resilient state of mind daily. All in all, yoga offers me a sense of self-efficacy that I desperately need while living with an autoimmune disease. I’m so grateful to be a part of and learn from such a supportive community!

    How did you find YFA? How has YFA helped you?

    I found YFA after my rheumatologist recommended Dr. Moonaz’s Yoga for Arthritis video several years ago. That video provided me with the modifications I needed after learning that I had significant arthritis impacting my movement. Over time, I started to seek out additional information on yoga for arthritis and was thrilled when the Yoga Therapy for Arthritis: A Whole-Person Approach to Movement and Lifestyle book came out. I immediately sat down and read through the whole book… twice. The tone, tools, and thoughtfulness behind the book resonated with me and encouraged me to move toward a simple, daily practice that has expanded over time. Since then, I’ve sat in on a couple monthly YFA calls and even had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Dr. Moonaz to tailor my practice.

    Is there anything else you'd like to say about Yoga for Arthritis?

    Why yoga for me? My “why” focuses on my family; they are what’s most important to me and they are why I strive to be as strong and connected as possible. Without the modifications I’ve learned through YFA and the accessible practice I’ve developed, I’m not sure I could continue to keep up with my growing, active young adults. I am very grateful for these resources and encourage all the teachers to keep in mind what a different you can make in the lives of others.


    Amy R. Allen

    Facebook

    I am a student of yoga and practice to keep my mind and joints flexible. Dealing with a chronic illness that leaves me sore, stiff and, at times, very fatigued, yoga nourishes my mind and body so that I can more freely live my life.


  • 11 Jan 2022 12:33 PM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)


    Welcome to the Yoga for Arthritis monthly blog series that features our YFA members hard work, dedication, & passion. Without the ongoing efforts of these standout members, we would not be where we are today. 

    How has yoga impacted your life?

    Yoga keeps me going, calm and energized to be a better person.

    How did you find YFA? How has YFA helped you?

    I sought out information (Googled) on how to help my own aches and pain from RA and found YFA. Once I saw that she was going to be within driving distance from me I signed up for the training. No zoom back then. After my training with Steffany it open up lots of doors for me, including working in senior living centres, and working with the local Arthritis Foundation. I also found other women much like myself to teach and be a support for them.

    Where did you get trained and with whom?

    Rome GA, with Steffany Moonaz, PHD

    Is there anything else you'd like to say about Yoga for Arthritis?

    I am looking to start a small group women 35+ with RA Monday afternoon on Zoom. This will be a support group and yoga practice. Please email me for more information. mcmelanieyoga@gmail.com

    Let us know when and where we can find your classes?

    Chair Yoga For Arthritis class Monday and Friday Live on Zoom @10am EST.

    Is there anything else you would like to share?

    My oldest student is 95 years young!

    Where can people connect with you?

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mcmelanieyoga 

    Website: http://melanieyoga.com/   

    Melanie McNally

    Melanie McNally has been practicing yoga for over 25 years. At age 35 she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Yoga was a lifesaver for her body and the only relief from the pain she was experiencing. She became a 200 hour yoga teacher in 2016. She wanted to learn more why, and how to help others like herself, so she also trained with Dr. Steffany Moonaz 2016. Melanie has been teaching yoga for the past 6 years and loves teaching to older populations. She is working on becoming a Certified Yoga Therapist. Teaching When she is not teaching yoga, she works part-time as an instructor training teaching First Aid, CPR, AED and Basic Life Support.

     


  • 16 Dec 2021 4:54 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)


    Kylie Ignace recently joined the Yoga for Arthritis team serving as the Website Manager. In this post, she shares her yoga journey and passion for website design.

    Kylie started her yoga journey by chance. She was really into fitness and asked a friend to go to a cardio class at a local gym, The friend declined but countered with offering to go to a yoga class. Kylie reluctantly agreed. That class changed Kylie’s life. 

    Breathing and intentional movement was a new concept, but she was hooked. Yoga became a way of life. She finally had a way to combat anxiety. As life became more stressful, Kylie kept turning to yoga on and off the mat.  

    After college graduation, she signed up for her first yoga teacher training and never looked back. 

    Kylie believes that yoga helps people step out of habit and into intention. 

    She teaches: Vinyasa (all levels), Hatha, Restorative, Yoga Nidra, and Yin. Aside from her asana practice, she also is certified in NLP and life coach. 

    She’s combined her two passions of yoga and website design to help soulful businesses create online presences they’re proud of. 

    Her goal is to make everyone realize they have the power to create their life rather than react to it. 

    You can connect with Kylie at kylie@arthritis.yoga

    Instagram: @kylieignace

    Or her business’ websites: www.kylieignace.com or www.authenticallycreative.com


  • 13 Dec 2021 7:01 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)

    Welcome to the Yoga for Arthritis monthly blog series that features our YFA members hard work, dedication, & passion. Without the ongoing efforts of these standout members, we would not be where we are today. 


    Please tell us about yourself and your journey to yoga?

    I’m a social worker with a background in mental health, and I was diagnosed with Spondyloarthritis (SpA) in 2015. After several years working in busy social work settings, where I had to spend a lot of time sitting and doing paperwork, I decided to pursue yoga teacher training. My back pain is made worse by sitting and improves with movement and stretching, so teaching yoga seemed like the perfect way to make my lifestyle a better fit for my condition. I currently teach yoga at Harlem Yoga Studio and with SpondyStrong, a program I co-founded that provides online yoga and fitness classes for people with SpA/AS. I’m thankful that I can now pursue both social work and yoga part time, which I think will be a much better balance for my body (and mind!)

    How has yoga impacted your life?

    I’ve always loved yoga, which I first tried in elementary school and then practiced more regularly during and after college. But yoga took on more significance for me when I was diagnosed with SpA, when I discovered that stretching and yoga were extremely helpful for reducing my pain. Exercise is considered to be one of the most important parts of managing SpA/AS, and yoga is wonderful for maintaining flexibility and mobility, as well as for managing stress. Now that I’ve replaced some of my seated work with yoga teaching, I have less back pain, and I continue to be amazed by the calming and centering effects of mindfulness and breathing practices. It’s also comforting to know that I have this practice that I enjoy and that is beneficial for my condition, which I can continue to do for the rest of my life.

    How did you find YFA? How has YFA helped you?

    I believe I first learned of YFA from Nancy O’Brien, who has been a wonderful mentor to me as I’ve explored yoga therapy and using yoga for chronic pain. Although my 200-hour training did cover some of the ideas that are emphasized in YFA, like accessibility and non-hierarchical language, after doing YFA training, I felt much better-equipped to work with people with SpA and other types of arthritis. I feel proud to list my YFA training as a credential, and the online community has been a wonderful resource when I’ve had questions!

    Tell us about your YFA training?

    I completed Level 1 of YFA training in June 2021 online with the Integral Yoga Institute. My wonderful teachers were Nancy O’Brien, Peter Karow, and Livvie Mann.

    Is there anything else you'd like to say about Yoga for Arthritis?

    I really appreciate the YFA focus on non-hierarchical language and making yoga as accessible and welcoming as possible. I think these concepts are important to incorporate into all yoga classes, whether arthritis-focused or not!

    Let us know when and where we can find your classes?

    I teach a few classes per week online with SpondyStrong: Gentle/Chair Yoga on Tuesdays at 12pm, Open Level Yoga on Thursdays at 8pm, and Mat Yoga on Fridays at 11am (all Eastern time). I also teach a hybrid in person/Zoom Yoga Basics class with Harlem Yoga Studio on Wednesdays at 6pm, which isn’t explicitly a YFA class, but is definitely informed by YFA principles, and is often attended by somewhat older students with arthritis.

    Is there anything else you would like to share?

    I also lead the NYC support group for the Spondylitis Association of America. If you’re not familiar with them, they are a wonderful resource for people living with Spondyloarthritis/Ankylosing Spondylitis and related conditions!

    Where can people connect with you?

    https://spondystrong.wordpress.com

    Instagram: @sandravossyoga

    Sandra Voss, RYT-200

      


  • 30 Nov 2021 10:26 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)

    I was born in Philadelphia to two young parents. They were on food stamps after my dad naively quit his job over having to wear a tie. My mother, who grew up with greater hardship, knew the foolishness of this decision but everyone told them that babies bring good luck. Sure enough, he got his next job and was able to pursue his dream of becoming a psychologist. We moved from our city apartment into a suburban townhouse and then, when I was six, we moved to a big house in the farmlands of Bucks County, about an hour north of the city. My brother and I were the only Jews in most of our elementary school classrooms. We were among very few kids with parents from the city. And our parents also held the minority political affiliation in that small rural town. What Bucks County offered was a chance for us to play outside in nature and attend a world class public school. I benefitted from an excellent education with phenomenal teachers who “won the lottery” by getting to teach in the Central Bucks School District.

    While my family might have been a little bit different from most who had been there for generations, I rarely felt alienated or “otherized” by neighbors or peers. We were welcomed and included. I might have been the only Jewish person some people knew, but my friends were interested and intrigued rather than anti-Semitic. I knew who had Democratic or Republican parents, but that didn’t define us nor divide us. We were welcome in each other’s homes and free to form our own opinions on all manner of issues.

    I did feel isolated in that town due to its size and was eager to escape to a college that would broaden my horizons, but I am grateful in hindsight for the opportunity to grow up there. It is common for people to move back to Central Bucks when they have children of their own and care more about opportunities for their kids than a city life for themselves. While we didn’t move back to Central Bucks exclusively for the school system, it was definitely a factor in our decision to move closer to family when my mother’s cancer was progressing. We bought a house in Doylestown with their help, rented it out, and promised to move there as soon as we could settle our affairs in Baltimore.

    We’ve been in this town for over 4 years now, with frequent trips back-and-forth to Baltimore. And like many parents, I didn’t pay much attention to the school board until decisions about COVID-19 policies were being made. Since then, our small quaint, now suburban town has made national headlines for the toxicity of those board meetings. This has been escalating for some time, with a major and well-funded political effort to keep the schools open without masks or testing or stay-at-home requirements. But this post is not about public health measures. It is about how people have been treating each other at those meetings ever since the spotlight was shown on them. It is about the venomous speech toward fellow community members and the blatant bigotry on display toward Black and Brown families, religious minorities, and those with political differences.

    When hate speech is spewed in these meetings, there are cheers from the crowd of attendees. Anyone trying to stop it is threatened, and the board itself does nothing. After months and months of repeated comments, there might be an official statement that is signed by only a few members and threads the needle between free speech and civility. This is the place where decisions are made about my children’s education. This is what we’ve come to, and it’s happening all over the US, if not more broadly. And our kids are watching. Our kids are seeing what is okay and not okay, what gets cheers and what gets silenced, who is celebrated and who is derided.

    This is not yoga. It can be easy to get caught up in the war over the masks, or the book bans, or the funding decisions. But there is something much bigger that is being lost with these fights- our common humanity. We have lost the ability to see the light within each other, to come to a table with different perspectives and truly listen to understand, not to speak back. When we are caught in the battle, we fail to look sideways and see our children learning from the sidelines. It isn’t just happening at school boards. it is also happening at holiday gatherings with extended family, if we can even be civil enough to have those anymore.

    How can we fix this? How can we bring the true meaning of yoga, of interconnectedness, back to our towns and our families? We can show up as the light in the room. We can set an intention to find the good in everyone, even if it is buried under fear or resentment. We can be kind to our neighbors and show our children that we do not withhold kindness toward those who are different from us. We can model compassion even while working for justice.

    This holiday season, I wish for more bridges. I am not leaving this town because it is broken. I will pick up one brick at a time, in partnership with my willing neighbors. We cannot flee from the brokenness of the world because we will find it everywhere. It is our job to put forth steady effort. In my tradition, we call it tikkun olam- putting the broken pieces of the world back together. In yoga, we might call it tapas- that consistent effort in the direction of wholeness for ourselves and the world.

    In order to do this work in our communities, we have to start with ourselves. We have to be whole to bring wholeness to the world around us. Get on your mat or your cushion or your chair or your nature walk and then bring that yoga into every interaction with the world around you. It might be small, but we can bring light to the darkness one moment at a time. Whatever holidays you might celebrate this time of year, they are all about shining a light in the darkness. This seems to be a universal cultural impulse and not for nothing. A single lamp has the greatest impact when it has fallen most dark. Let’s all turn on our inner lights and shine the heck out of this winter season.

    Love and Light and Happy Holidays,

    Steffany

    PS. For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, we need your light too, even if the sun is shining! It takes all of us.









  • 19 Oct 2021 6:30 AM | Natalie Cummings (Administrator)


    Yoga for Arthritis is seeking a website specialist to develop, optimize and expand our online services, including the website, training platform, and events. This will including completing transition to a new website host, improving the brand's visual aesthetic, and integration of marketing and social media automation. This remote position works collaboratively with the other members of a small, ambitious team to share our resources, services, classes, trainings, and products with an international audience. The ideal candidate will be able to effectively self-manage, think critically and strategically, and bring creativity and excitement into the role and onto our website. The ideal candidate would also have extensive experience in digital communication and asset production, web strategy, website development and maintenance, and content marketing. They will demonstrate strong communication skills, experience with digital content creation, and a passion for building community and serving the public. Especially since we are a small team, a willingness and desire to learn on the job, expand existing skill sets, support colleagues, and troubleshoot through new challenges will be vital, and will also provide an exciting opportunity for a strategic, puzzle-loving, and solutions-oriented person to routinely fire up their analytical and creative thinking skills.

    Online technologies are frequently evolving, and we expect the candidate to use their current skills and knowledge while taking on new duties and challenges that may not be in this job description.

    This is a 100% remote, part-time, 1099 contract position, paid at a rate of $20/hour as a starting point based on experience. Work hours are self-managed and completely flexible, with the exception of one weekly staff meeting. The anticipated time commitment is 10 - 12 hours/week. YFA does not offer benefits to contractual team members, though free YFA training and discounts on other services/products are available. The selected candidate must be available to start on November 1st or sooner.

    APPLY NOW

    Job Duties

    Web Development & Design

    • Produce, evolve and consistently innovate design treatments, templates and content for all digital supported properties.

    • Solid grasp of modern front-end Web development, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript and their associated build components.

    • Outstanding proficiency in search engine optimization techniques

    • Experience with Wordpress and other CMS platforms 

    • Member management and proficiency in level compartmentalization of content

    • Coordination of various web pages with appropriate links and multimedia elements

    • Background in website and marketing automation methodologies

    • Familiarity with Google Analytics

    • Experience with designing/building online events

    • Add new monthly content to membership categorized pages

    • Ability to assist with e-commerce activities for multiple companies including creating landing pages, setting up products, identifying up-sell opportunities, etc.

    Other

    • Attend weekly staff meetings and report in on relevant work and projects

    • At times, work closely with the social media executive on specific projects that require coordination between website and social media management.

    • Engage, as needed, with additional communications and/or marketing projects, potentially including but not limited to:

      • Editing and providing feedback on copy drafted by executive director, operations manager, communications manager, or outside contributors

      • Managing the planning and logistics of occasional marketing-related events (info sessions, webinars, etc.)

      • Adding captions/editing auto-generated captions on video content

    Required Qualifications

    • Knowledge of website development and maintenance, and experience with content management systems/website builders

    • Foundation in Increased brand recognition/ Improved brand loyalty

    • Strong copywriting skills, particularly for digital platforms

    • Basic graphic design skills using Canva or similar software

    • The ability to work independently, ensuring effective and efficient time and project management without daily oversight

    • The ability to communicate and collaborate effectively using Gmail/G Suite, Zoom video conferencing, and project management software

    • Experience working with HTML

    • Experience with Wordpress

    Preferred Qualifications

    • Experience with AMO (Associations Management Online) software

    • Experience with Asana project management software

    • Experience with and/or understanding of website funnel marketing strategies

    • Experience with using Webflow.

    • Experience with permission marketing. 





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