In the 2017 fall semester, team #kulamantra teamed up with Roots2Rise, a non-profit organization that brings yoga and mindfulness to yoga poor communities. Our goal was to learn more about what Roots2Rise does for the community and to target donors so that this non-profit has the ability to expand to more communities. On October 15, 2017, team #kulamantra met with four members of Roots2Rise: Beth, Anthony, Shenise, and Tim. We conducted four interviews where each person got a chance to speak about themselves as human beings, their experience with yoga, and their journey with Roots2Rise. The interviews were all extremely touching and inspiring in their own ways. Throughout the semester, it has been our goal to help Roots2Rise to better it as an organization, but after our experience with Roots2Rise during the interviews, it became clear that Roots2Rise is also helping us.
Each interviewee was very different in their own ways so the subject matter of each interview was different from the next. Since there were four interviewees, each member of team #kulamantra was able to conduct their own interview. Each member of the team had their own personal experience so this blog post will explain what each team member gained from their Roots2Rise interview.
Becky Interviews Tim Wagner
I interviewed Tim Wagner, who is the founder of Roots2Rise. Tim had a lot of great insight to give me on his background with yoga and what it did for him. Tim taught me that yoga is much more powerful than we think. Yoga can be a cure for many things such as stress, anxiety, addiction, anger, etc. Practicing something as simple as breathing can change your outlook on life which is why it is important for yoga to be available to all different walks of life. As founder of Roots2Rise, Tim discussed to me why donations are crucial to the success of Roots2Rise. The donations that this nonprofit receives gives Roots2Rise the chance to expand to more communities and provide yoga to more people. After my interview with Tim, I was really able to understand the mission of Roots2Rise a lot more and I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity to speak with a person who touches the lives of so many people.
Gabby Interviews Shenise Nicole
I had the opportunity of interviewing Shenise Nicole, a yoga instructor for Roots2Rise! Shenise’s story was so captivating and emotional that at one point, I completely forgot we were doing an interview. I forgot about the cameras and the team behind us. My focus was solely on her. The interview felt less like an interview and more like I was having a conversation with a good friend. Shenise struck me as a hard worker with strong qualities of perseverance, hope, forgiveness, passion and love. Shenise was in an abusive marriage for eleven years before she decided it was time to leave. She asked me to imagine what it would feel like to wake up every single day of your life with a tiger in the room. When there’s a tiger in the room you either fight it or freeze. Shenise decided to fight and she removed herself from her situation. She now works as a social worker specializing in trauma to help women and children cope with situations their situations and to fight the tiger. Through yoga, Shenise was able to channel her negativity and trauma into healing and compassion. After taking yoga for a few months she became a certified instructor where she now teaches the power of breath and body control to the community. Shenise says her big takeaway is that when doing yoga, connect with the others around you through listening to their breath or through a light touch. Feeling this connection to others is so important in a time when our country is so divided.
I now understand that yoga isn’t just about stretching the body, but it is about connecting with those around you to form bonds and to be aware of others emotions and energy.
Kaeleigh Interviews Anthony Levering
I had the awesome opportunity to interview Anthony Levering, who is an instructor for the yoga organization, Roots2Rise. I truly enjoyed this experience because Anthony’s emotion and love for yoga really bled through during his interview. He was extremely knowledgeable about the Roots2Rise mission as well as the physical and emotional power that yoga and mindfulness can have on all individuals. He believes that yoga should be offered to all people and that is why he is has been so involved in Roots2Rise.
Anthony came across as an extremely open and passionate instructor that enjoyed creating relationships, community, and a nonjudgmental environment between him and his students. He seemed to appreciate learning about each of his students as people as well as their backgrounds and stories.
His pride to be a part of Roots2Rise and his belief in their cause was truly inspiring. When he began to get emotional about how the organization touched many areas and people of the community, his emotion reached every person in the room when he was being interviewed. His interview added immense value to the filming day as well as our continuing understanding of Roots2Rise. It will be extremely useful in our future video.
This experience has aided me in furthering my growth in this class because it allowed me to take risks and better understand the organization, therefore we can represent it more accurately.
Danielle Interviews Beth Heed
I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Beth Heed one of the instructors in Roots2Rise. Before interviewing her I was extremely nervous, because I did not know what to really expect since I went first. However once I met Beth all my worries and concerns went away. Beth is an extremely charismatic bubbly woman, who is extremely passionate yoga and the impact it has on the body. This interview felt more like a conversation since her story was so captivating. Interviewing Beth provided an actual face and personality to the non-profit for me which I would have never gotten from simply reviewing their website. Through her I was finally able to understand the meaning behind mindfulness by the correlation of not the body, but the spirit and mind as well. Her story told me that yoga is more than just a physical exercise for middle ages adults, but also kids as well. I was blown away when she was able to use her passion for teaching education in the classroom to yoga. She was able to continue her yoga journey from high school all the way to an instructor present day. Through her I was able to grasp that kids have the ability to learn from yoga as well. It is beneficial for all ages, however the teaching styles are different. Yoga has different effects on people, but donating provides the same beneficial influence on their organization.