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Hampden yoga helps local food cupboard

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Instructor donates attendance fee to the hungry

HAMPDEN - Attending Yoga in Hampden can benefit more than your physical and mental health. It can also help the Hampden Food Cupboard. Instructor Julie Morse has been charging participants $1 per class, an incremental amount by many people's standards, but one that can make a huge difference when it comes to collecting non-perishables for area food cupboards.

"I make $8, $10, $12 a class. I can't make money off of it, it wouldn't be right. That's not why I'm teaching yoga," explained Morse. "When I started doing yoga on a daily basis, the physical and emotional changes were amazing and allowed me to see the pain of the world differently. It made me want to change what I do on a daily basis."

Last year, Morse collected the participation fee of her attendees and gave the proceeds to her church. But this year she has opted to help out the Hampden Food Cupboard instead.

"I don't have any connection to the food cupboard," said Morse. "I just thought it was a lovely idea that people could connect with and I thought some might not come [to class] if church is not their thing."

Christine Lyons of Hampden has been taking yoga on and off with Morse for two years.

"I think it is extremely generous of Julie to do this," said Lyons. "And I like to think of it as I'm multitasking when I come to class - I'm exercising and giving to the local food cupboard."

Morse teaches yoga two days a week, Tuesdays from 9:30-10:45 a.m. at the old Hampden Academy gym and Fridays 6:05-7:05 a.m. in the new Hampden Academy multipurpose room.

"This is a different kind of exercise. It's calming," said Lyons. "And it's modifiable, so anyone can do it."

Taking two hours a week for herself is just what Lyons, a mother of four, can certainly use now and again.

"Everything we do in life has a chance to make someone's day better or worse and a lot of people don't see the connection of yoga to that," explained Morse. "But the slowing down, deep breathing and for me, becoming a parent, really does open your eyes."

Morse plans to hand over the donations she has collected over the last several months to the Hampden Food Cupboard in one lump sum at the end of the year. She said her classes and attendance fee will continue to be donated to area causes in 2013 as well.

For more information, contact Julie Morse at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Last modified on Friday, 25 January 2013 11:16


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