photo by Jill Swirbul, JillSwirbulPhotography

Happy 70th Birthday, Mom!

This December 22, my late mother, Suzy Rosin, would have turned 70. Throughout the fall, I have thought about my desire to mark the day … but in a way that wouldn’t be sad. I wanted to focus on her in a way that is meaningful and positive.

Among the most amazing things about my mom were her physical fitness, commitment to health and mentoring of young people in a manner that incorporated golf, dance, hiking and Pilates.

Fitness and mentorship were inextricably linked for her.

To celebrate my mom’s birthday, I am taking on a 31 day yoga challenge to benefit Yogis Heart. It is a not-for-profit organization that provides one-year yoga scholarships to young men and women between the ages of 15 to 25 (many of them living much closer to the poverty line than anyone reading this).

The idea is that these kids are at a critical juncture in life as they face what only seem at the time to be no-stakes decisions. Often, those late-teens-early-twenties choices are the ones that can change the path of their lives.

Yoga has changed the path of my life. Of course I realize that few people are going to integrate it into their schedule with the frequency with which I do. But that’s one of the great things about yoga: every time (any time) anyone unfurls a yoga mat and gives themselves even a few minutes to stretch out upon it, they are better off for having done so. I strongly believe that having access to all-you-can-eat yoga for a full year could alter the course of a person’s history.

I promise to do yoga every single day for the entire month of December (even if all I’m able to sneak in is a short You Tube video practice, or such). I will post photos to Facebook several times a week and will hashtag them #suzy70. (Mom was emailing photos taken of herself doing Pilates to all her friends before there were selfies, before there was even Facebook.)

If you are a friend/loved one of mine or my mom’s and you would like to honor her 70th birthday, please consider giving a little something to support Yogis Heart. (If you want to know more about the organization, please email me. It was founded by a close friend and yoga instructor, Trella Dolgin. In another lifetime, Trella and Suzy will be BFF.)

Meanwhile, I pledge to get on my mat every damn day (!). Think of it as a DIY yoga marathon. Yogis Heart will very much appreciate any amount that we contribute. A single scholarship requires about $1000 and I’d be thrilled if I was able to raise that amount. But no pressure.

Also, I’d love to see pictures of you enjoying physical wellness, as well. Please post a pic now and again during the month that shows you doing whatever it is that fuels you, and add #suzy70.

Happy birthday, Mom!