2015 Annual Meeting IYISFThank you to everyone who participated from near and far at our 2015 Annual Meeting of the Membership on Sunday, March 29th. We came so close to the 108 members that we called for with 98 people showing up and participating. We are pretty sure that this was a record in terms of attendance in the history of the Iyengar Yoga Association of Northern California!

Teacher, Brian Hogencamp opened the meeting with the invocation to the Sage Patanjali and then introducted visiting teacher and Sanskrit scholar Leslie Freyberg.  Brian read a quote from Geeta Iyengar’s opening speech at the December Yoganusasanam intensive in Pune:

“Having this in our mind, before we start,

I will add one more mantra from the Vedas, from Upanisads,

in which all of us will be reciting,

in which it is said that when the students, the pupils, learn from Guru,

though we are not equal to the Guru,

but yet what he has passed on, the knowledge to us,

we will carry forward, always remaining together.

We will carry that further, with all that honesty in us,

and we will be always together.

In simple words the Upanisad says, the mantra says…

we will eat together,

we will be together,

and we will carry on this knowledge without having any kind of,

jealousy, malaise, or any kind of klesa within us,

with the purity of the mind,

we will carry on the knowledge,

with our teaching process.

And that is how, even if we are,

living on this earth at different areas,

we have to feel that we are always together.” – Geeta Iyengar

Then, Leslie led us in this auspicious mantra from the Upanishads which Geeta mentioned above:

Om Saha Nau-Avatu |

Saha Nau Bhunaktu |

Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai |

Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai |

Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||

May we be protected together.

May we be nourished together.

May we work together with great vigor.

May there be no hatred among us.

May our study be luminous and purposeful.

Om, Peace. Peace. Peace.

2015 Board of Directors IYISFA record-breaking event occurred at the meeting; we had public election of our Board of Directors! We are happy to say that all of our 5 current Board members were re-confirmed and that 5 additional community members stepped up to serve and were voted in. Not only are we now in compliance with our by-laws which call for a Board of 7-15 members, but we now have doubled the amount of energy, expertise and experience in our leadership. Stay tuned for bios from our new Board members: Jeff Sikand, Jeff Renfro, Karen Woods, Erick Thuss & Dan Pelsinger (stay tuned for bios and more info!)

And, after 8 years of hard work by many in the community including past Presidents John Hayden and Heather Haxo Phillips, we were able to pass a revised set of By-Laws that now puts us in compliance and California State code. There was a lively discussion about several of the amendments. Some members were concerned that we were doing away with proxy voting but the majority of the membership in attendance felt that we could manage this by adding electronic voting. Teacher, Victoria Austin spoke of her experience at the Zen Center and offering live/web simulcasts for the Annual Meeting with interactive capabilities. Another concern was boilerplate copy that had been inserted by our pro-bono non-profit lawyer regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Board members. The clause stated that Board Members could be compensated for their service by the discretion of the Board was struck out of the By-laws with a closer vote (60 in favor: 40 opposed). Finally, a concern about a new clause allowing the Board to designate a select group of members to the Board was entertained and discussed but voted down. The Board will retain the right to designate a small portion of the Board as needed based on special skill sets required. The last Amendment was a proposal to lower the quorum to 10% . This did not pass and the quorum will be 20% going forward.

Next Steps! The new Board will be working on an expanded strategic planning process that involves more of the community. We would love for you to get more involved! Here are some opportunities:

  • Volunteer at the Institute: We desperately need help at the front desk right now as well as other cleaning, admin and event shifts. CONTACT Meg meg@iyisf.org 
  • Volunteer your time on a Board Committee. Some of the areas of expertise that we need are: Legal, Finance, Human Resources. CONTACT board@iyanc.org 
  • Join or Pledge the Yogathon on April 25th! We need your help to raise our goal of $25,000. Join as a participant and pledge to raise $108+ OR simply donate to cause. All donations are tax-deductible. For more info, CONTACT Cynthia: cynthia@iyisf.org 

IYISF would like to thank  Fred Fox, Paul Levine, Janet MacLeod, Da Gang Wang and most importantly Ward Smith for hosting and putting together such a beautiful fundraising event taking place at Ward’s San Francisco home.

At this fundraising event over $9,000 was raised! We are extremely grateful to have such generous and thoughtful community members!

The event included delectable food with one of the entrées were butternut squash and kale risotto. One of the dessert items included Peanut butter brownies with chocolate, dried apricot, and pecans.

IMG_5091

We asked Ward what he enjoyed the most:

“The part that I enjoyed most was working with the other hosts (Da-Gang Wang and Fred Fox)in planning the event; and working with Paul Levine on the invitations and printing work; and working with Jim Van Buskirk, Warren Preston, Jackie Herndon on food preparation.
 
It was a lot of work. It was fun seeing people enjoying themselves listening to the wonderful music and visiting and having dinner. “- Ward Smith 

IMG_5097

The fundraising event also included live music entertainment from a string quartet arranged by Fred Fox. 

IMG_5076

 

We also asked one of Ward’s co-host Da Gang what he enjoyed the most:  

“People in our yoga community volunteered to help. Jim Van Buskirk helped the food preparation, and he was the bartender in the event. Garrell and Jackie Herndon helped with moving the chairs and cleaning after the party.For me it is really nice to work with people in our community outside the yoga classes. People are talented, gifted and generous in many different ways and it is wonderful to see that part. Many thanks to Janet MacLeod. She is the teacher of Ward, Fred and mine. She brought us together and she taught us yoga,  loving and giving.” -Da Gang Wang
 

 IMG_4989

IMG_5015

 IMG_5100

We welcome all members of our community to host the next IYISF fundraising event! This is your chance to get creative and we can’t wait to hear about your ideas! Contact our development assistant Jessica Turner,  jessica@iyisf.org if you are interested.