As part of yoga teacher training at CorePower Yoga, we’re required to do a karma project. A karma project is where we get to pick a nonprofit organization we’re passionate about and volunteer a couple hours of our time. We then share our experience with each other during one of our Group Sessions.
The organization I chose to volunteer my time for was GRO, Girls Riders Organization. GRO is a nonprofit, national organization open to all females in skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding and other action sports. GRO’s mission is to inspire, educate and support girls of all ages through action sports to be active in life and confident leaders of positive change in the community around them.
I volunteered to work the GRO Snow Ladies Day at Snoqualmie Pass all day on Saturday. The event was from 8AM until 4PM. Ladies of all ages were encouraged to register for the event online and purchase discounted lift tickets if they needed them. The first 50 ladies who registered online for the event received a pink goodie bag. The event itself was designed to bring ladies of all ages together, both skiers and snowboarders, to meet each other and ride together all over the mountain and in the park. At the end of the day, there was a huge raffle where prizes like two snowboards, tons of outer gear (beanies, socks, hats, t-shirts), bags and other items donated by sponsors were raffled off to lucky winners who purchased a raffle ticket throughout the day. GRO makes money for the organization by selling raffle tickets. Tickets were $1 a piece.
I showed up for the event bright and early in the morning to help set up the booth. During a majority of the day, I helped out in the booth with registration, sold raffle tickets, talked about what GRO is to those who came up to the booth, handed out free stickers along with KIND Bars and Yerba Mate drinks to people passing by and gave out goodie bags to event participants at the end of the day. Then at the end of the event, I stayed to help break the booth.
At one point during the event, I took a break and linked up with a lady friend of mine to take a few turns out on the mountain. It just so happens my friend was helping out with the ski demo in the tent next to ours. At first, I wasn’t going to go out and ride because I was volunteering, but I was given a free lift ticket and told to take a break and go have fun. I was stoked. How could I say no to that? Even though the conditions were spring slush and I was completely unfamiliar with the mountain, by the time we got off the first chairlift and started riding down. I remembered why I loved snowboarding so much. It was at this point in the day where the GRO Snow Ladies day event had come full circle for me. Not only did I get to volunteer, I also got to participate by riding with one of the ladies!
I chose GRO as my karma project for yoga teacher training because getting ladies involved in action sports is something I’m really passionate about. When I first moved back up to Seattle in 2014, I didn’t have a whole lot of girlfriends to go up to the mountain with. Most of the time in sports like snowboarding, skiing, wakeboarding and skateboarding, its mainly men who are out there riding. I wanted to meet other like-minded ladies and put together a posse of female friends who I could ride with. The whole point of GRO is to bring ladies together who love doing these types of sports, introduce them to one another and build friendships that go beyond the events.
Another reason why I chose to volunteer with GRO is because after yoga teacher training, I’d like to combine my love for yoga with my favorite sports like snowboarding, wakeboarding and hiking by volunteering my time to lead yoga warm-ups for future events here in the Pacific Northwest. How awesome would that be?