Hello, current and potential RBA supporters!  My name is Alexandra Murman. I am a yoga studio owner and an inspired and honored supporter of Valerie Groth and the RBA team.  When I heard about their holiday campaign being centered around “Resiliency”, I jumped at the chance to share about the resiliency I have witnessed at RBA!

Valerie and I met many years ago when she was a Social Worker at the school Ryan Banks was attending.  She was collecting used yoga mats to offer yoga classes at her school and collected some from my studio.  Even at that time her practical care and passion were inspiring.

Our contact was minimal after that until I learned about her vision and commitment to creating RBA – a project so impressive, based on its size, heart and gutsiness.  Her conviction, confidence, drive, and resiliency in the face of numerous obstacles were contagious and inspirational.  I was hooked and followed the growth of the school, supporting emotionally and financially from a distance.

Around the time of the school’s opening, Valerie and I met up.  She shared about the first phase of the physical school and their needs at that point.  I felt drawn to finding a way of supporting the project in a more personal, hands-on way and being able to connect directly with the students.  Originally the thought was to bring yoga to the students but the idea of offering another interest of mine was more appealing: arts and crafts.  Slowly we started offering one hour sessions where the students would work with different materials and have the opportunity to express and explore their creative sides while socializing with themselves and the faculty members.  I think they appreciate the opportunity to talk with one another in a relaxed yet structured situation.

Over the last two years it has been my pleasure to bring creative projects to the RBA students.  Examples are: a group mobile made from God’s Eyes (ornaments from yarn and popsicle sticks), Zentangles (patterned drawings), personalized journals, pressed tin art, handmade soap for Mother’s Day.  Coming up with projects and seeing how the students interpret them has been fun and rewarding.  But the highlight has very easily been the students: having the opportunity to meet and get to know them.  Each of them is so unique and special.  My favorite moments are the opportunities to check in with the students one-on-one when they get into a project: learning more about them and their personalities; how they think and feel; what they are interested in; what issues they might be dealing with at school or at home; who enjoys focusing on the project; who enjoys socializing.  And, if getting to know the students is the highlight, being welcomed and received by them, each time we say hello and good-bye, has been the priceless and not necessarily expected cherry on the top of being connected to RBA.

My heart has gone out to all of our amazing students and their families, so many of whom have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   But it has given me encouragement knowing that they are in such good hands at RBA and with the help of RBA supporters during this critical time, they can continue to grow to make an even bigger mark on our great city!  Thank you for consideration making a contribution during this exciting match holiday campaign.

Alexandra Murman
Owner, Namaskar Yoga