My City Beautiful

I was in Juno beach last weekend teaching a workshop at Native Yoga. Saturday evening I must have passed out around 10pm after watching a movie with my best friend Sasha. When I woke up on Sunday morning to prepare for asana and meditation practice I had an alert on my phone asking if I was safe from the terrorist attack in Orlando. I honestly had to take a triple take. I had no earthly idea what that was referring to. I did a quick google search to see the headlines that 50 people were shot down at Pulse nightclub in downtown Orlando. I stopped breathing. I shuddered. I just stared at my phone in shock. I spent my entire yoga and meditation practice sending love and light and healing to the families who had just lost someone they loved. I dedicated my practice to my city, the city beautiful. I felt so helpless being several hours away from my town…when I got to Native Yoga in the late morning to begin my day of workshops, I felt heavy, I felt sad, and I felt a need to rush home. But I didn’t. Instead, I stood at the front of the room and lead the opening Ashtanga chant for the room full of people, and I did my duty as their teacher for that moment in time. I held the space of the room, I adjusted peoples bodies, I offered input and information to people about their practice. But I did it from a place of dedication. Every word I uttered, every touch I gave to a person, I did it as a peace offering to the world and to those that were brutally murdered just hours before. After Mysore ended we had a brief 30 minute break and during that time I responded to an influx of texts from people around the world reaching out to ask if I and my loved ones were ok. I welled up with tears, tears for all the people in Central Florida who were not ok, for all the families whose loved ones were not ok. When we came back from break to begin the second session, I asked the students before me to join me in a meditation to send love and healing to the tragic events in my city. Everyone certainly agreed and we sat in silence for 15 minutes to hold space. Tears ran down my face as I offered my meditation to those who were suffering, those who were scared, those who had been killed. When the sit ended I felt a bit lighter, a bit more connected to myself, my city and the world at large.

There are no words to describe this tragedy.  It is mind boggling that it occurred in Orlando.  I am very lucky that no one close to me suffered in the mass shooting 15 minutes from my home and The Yoga Shala.  I am very lucky I have my yoga and meditation and pranayama practice to turn to each and everyday to help me maneuver through the day to day, and especially horrific events like this.  At this moment I wish I could share the tiny amount of knowledge I have with everyone suffering, wish I could give them some little nugget of peace to calm their aching souls.  If anyone is struggling from the events our city just endured, please reach out to me.  I would like to open my shala and my arms to you.  I would be honored to share some meditation and pranayama techniques with you; I would love to share some yoga asana with you.  My personal email is  Please reach out to me.  I am here.  I love Orlando, I love my fellow citizens, I want to do something for the people in my town.  

I have been riddled with grief over not being in my city to do something to help. I’d like to take a moment and share some information about the OneOrlando Fund. If you feel a desire to help, please share this information with everyone you know, please make a donation, please pray for #thecitybeautiful. Orlando is my home, I love her deeply and right now she is suffering. Thank you for taking the time to read this post today. #loveorlando

The purpose of the Fund is to provide a way to help respond to the needs of our community, now and in the time to come, after the effects of the Pulse nightclub tragedy.

The distribution of the funds will be administered by the Central Florida Foundation. The Foundation serves as the region’s community foundation and is home to more than 400 charitable funds.

The Fund will support:

  • Nonprofits that are supporting the victims and families

  • The LGBTQ, Hispanic, faith and other affected communities

  • Underlying causes of this tragic event

  • Other needs we cannot anticipate until we face them

The OneOrlando Fund is a project of Strengthen Orlando, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation created for the purpose of supporting and starting projects to strengthen the Orlando community.

The outpouring of support from our City partners has already begun:

  • Walt Disney Company $1,000,000

    • In addition, eligible donations from Disney employees will be matched dollar for dollar by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation

  • Darden Restaurants $500,000

  • The Orlando Magic $100,000

  • JetBlue $100,000

  • Mears $50,000


To contribute to the OneOrlando Fund, please visit

Checks may be made payable to OneOrlando Fund and sent to:


PO Box 4990

Orlando, FL 32802-4990

For information regarding the OneOrlando Fund or to make a wire transfer, please contact

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