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Rising Stars: Meet Geni Donnelly

Today we’d like to introduce you to Geni Donnelly.

Hi Geni, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I co-founded the Yogamour non-profit in 2011. The organization began its journey by leading yoga volunteer retreats to India and Thailand. And here on the stateside, we train yoga teachers, health care providers, educators and anyone interested in teaching yoga and mindfulness to survivors of trauma, marginalized communities and under-served populations. Through a trauma-informed lens. The overarching mission of the organization is to bring yoga and mindfulness to those in-need as an adjunct therapy towards healing.

Yogamour offers public yoga classes to further support the mission and vision of the organization as well as Trauma-Informed Yoga, Social Justice and Leadership Training Programs. Pop-up yoga classes can be found in the city park, community centers, Idiom Brewing on the creek, McClintock Distillery and at the studio located in North Frederick, Maryland. The wide selection of classes offered at the studio and online range from Hot Power Yoga, Yin Restorative, Gentle and Beginners Yoga, Kids Yoga and more. Yoga is a practice that can be viewed as a form of exercise as well as a tool for self-regulation as well as finding peace and balance.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I have always been passionate about my businesses. I have owned a restaurant in my hometown, had an appraisal and real estate consulting business and now a non-profit organization and yoga studio. Every business has had its unique challenges, but to bring yoga and mindfulness to under-served communities and experience the positive outcomes has been amazing to witness.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I was a fine arts major in college and always loved the creative challenges that life can offer. I believe that the spark of creativity fueled by passion can certainly be channeled into your work. ‘Seva’ is the Sanskrit word for ‘Selfless Service’ and is often used in association with the philosophy of yoga. This has been our life’s work through Yogamour. I am so grateful and honored by those the teachers, volunteers and community who joined us on this journey. We continue to offer Trauma-Informed Yoga, Leadership and Social Justice Trainings as well as volunteer in our local communities and abroad. We believe in taking our yoga practice ‘off of the mat in service of others.

How do you think about happiness?
Making a conscience effort to maintain healthy relationships and staying connected to friends, family and those we serve makes me happy. A practice of gratitude and taking delight in the good fortune of others can be a warm and satisfying feeling. Being happy and positive is contagious and can make the world a better place! Volunteering and serving is a crucial be a part of positive change!

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