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Chic Spotlight: World Peace Yoga's Anna Ferguson

Chic Spotlight: World Peace Yoga's Anna Ferguson
Everybody wants peace in the world, but this local lady actually achieves it. Through words and actions, she works toward peace, one yoga pose at a time.
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Cincy Chic
: Inspired by The World Peace Diet by Will Tuttle, you created World Peace Yoga. Can you let readers know a little more about what World Peace Yoga is and what importance it has in today's world?


Anna Ferguson, creator of World Peace Yoga and teacher at World Peace Yoga & Motion Studio:
World Peace Yoga is a style of yoga that inspires peace in action on and off the mat. The practice on the mat is a vinyasa focused class (postures flow from one to the next in conjunction with breath) with sequencing based on harmonizing the chakras (energy systems in the body that relate to aspects of our consciousness, including our relationships with others, the earth and our self). Each class holds the intention of peace and infuses music, chanting, spiritual teachings, meditation and relaxation within the asana (posture) sequence on the mat.

Off the mat, World Peace Yoga is a movement of peace in action — educating, encouraging, researching and promoting a vegan lifestyle and other methods of peace through yoga philosophy and the practice of ahimsa (Sanskrit for non-harming). World Peace Yoga uses the ancient teachings of yoga as a way to create change and promote a holistic lifestyle for the benefit of all beings and the earth.


Cincy Chic
: This is for our Self issue, so how do World Peace Yoga and the other classes at the Motion Studio help promote a positive self in both the practitioner and those around her?


Ferguson:
The practices of yoga are practices of letting go — letting go of self-consciousness, guilt, anger, resentment, judgment — essentially anything we’re holding onto that is not an expression of our true nature of love, joy and happiness. The practices of yoga on the mat, often lead to positive lifestyle change off the mat. Most everyone wants to be happy and most everyone would like to see peace on this earth.


Through the yoga practices, we begin to realize that certain things, parts of our daily lifestyle that we regularly participate in, are not in line with our ethics and values. We begin to see some of the contradictions and hypocrisies in the way that we live and then find a way to change it, whether it’s the way we think, what we say and how we speak to others, what we listen to or watch, or most profoundly what we eat.


After all, what we eat is what we create our body out of, and wouldn’t it be wonderful to create a body out of peace where no harm to another being had to take place! The happiness, peace and positive lifestyle changes that occur through the practice of yoga on and off the mat and the community support of the teachers and fellow students at the studio inspire others to seek out that happiness and make those changes in their own life as well.
 

Cincy Chic: With daily stresses, women can be pretty pressed for time. What advice do you have to help women incorporate themselves into their own schedules?


Ferguson:
It’s easy to get caught up in projects and not take time for ourselves. However, we cannot serve others — our family, friends, co-workers, etc. — if we are not serving our self. We may think that setting aside time for ourselves is being selfish, but what most don’t realize is that by taking time to practice yoga, for example, we will enhance our relationships with others and increase our energy to get more tasks accomplished.


Something that we all do every day is eat. We all seem to the make time for it. When we don’t have time to get to a class, we can still engage in a spiritual practice, enhance our own health and happiness as well as the lives of others each time we sit down to eat. This is why we offer encouragement, support and community gatherings that assist with transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, such as our World Peace Diet Study Groups.


Cincy Chic
: Penciling themselves in is just one part of the puzzle. What else do women need to keep in mind about achieving their desired sense of self?


Ferguson:
An ancient teaching that is part of nearly every major life philosophy and religion is, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," (also known as the “Golden Rule”), and by extension, what we do to others, we do to ourselves. For every action, there is a reaction, a cause and an effect. When our action (or cause) is treating others with kindness, the reaction (or effect) is kindness back.


To cultivate peace, happiness, love and joy in our own life, we must do our best to offer this to others — all others, the earth and other beings included. For example, when we pollute the water or air, we pollute ourselves because we drink the water and breathe the air.


How we interact with others — what we say, what we do, what we eat — are all connected to our sense of self. To achieve a desired sense of self, it’s important that our relationships with others be mutually beneficial, meaning not one-sided. Through the practices of yoga and a vegan lifestyle we create mutually beneficial relationships where all have opportunity for life, happiness and abundance.


Cincy Chic
: World Peace Yoga & Motion Studio helps women find time through events. For what events should readers be on the lookout?


Ferguson:
We have so many wonderful events to plug into it’s hard to decide where to start! Here are some upcoming events to be on the lookout for:


World Peace Yoga Conference

October 23-25, 2009

Grailville (in Loveland, Ohio)

Pricing Varies

(513) 300-9642

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


World Peace Diet Study Group, Recipe Exchange & Potluck

Every other Monday beginning Oct. 5, 7:30-9:00 p.m.

$9 or bring a vegan dish to share

268 Ludlow Avenue

Cincinnati, Ohio 45220

(513) 300-9642

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

A full listing of events and classes can be found on the Web site.


Cincy Chic
: When you're not in class or practicing, what do you do to focus on No. 1?


Ferguson:
My life is my yoga practice. It’s not something I can separate from the other things I do. It’s all connected! When I’m not teaching a class or practicing on the mat, I’m practicing off the mat through my thoughts, words and actions, with others and the earth. I volunteer time to causes I feel passionate about, such as yoga and spreading a message of peace through the lifestyle practice of veganism — all things that assist with building a strong and peaceful community.


A recent world-wide event that we participated in here in Cincinnati was Global Mala, on the United Nations Day for World Peace. At this free event we offered yoga, live music, delicious vegan food and provided information on various causes that promote peace and yoga. Project Yoga, a local non-profit was featured at the event. Project Yoga was created to serve the inner city schools of Cincinnati with the practices of yoga that foster self realization, greater awareness and heighten potential at a young age.


Another project that I have been working on now for over a year in my "off" time is the World Peace Yoga Conference, an event taking place at Grailville in October that is bringing presenters from all over the country to Cincinnati for a weekend of yoga, world-class vegan food, live music and peace. Peace is my No. 1 focus!


Cincy Chic
: What are your favorite things about Cincinnati?


Ferguson:
Some of my favorite things about Cincinnati are the people here I have developed relationships with that make up this community, as well as the beautiful parks the city has to offer. A park I frequently visit is Burnet Woods in Clifton. It’s within walking distance from the studio and it’s a place where I have met many wonderful people through free yoga classes we offer on Saturdays from late Spring to early Fall.


My family, friends and the growing community of peacemakers that attend events and classes sponsored by the studio all make Cincinnati a happy and joyful place to live. I am so grateful for all of these relationships.


PHOTO CREDITS

Photographer: Jeff Vari

Model: Anna Ferguson

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>


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