(Photo: Mary Klipp caught on camera, by her son, during one of her “secret Karma Yoga missions.”)

Long-time Integral Yoga community member and Karma Yogi, Mary Klipp, shares her story of how she first began her Yoga journey. And, part of that journey has included a special Karma Yoga “secret mission” of cleaning up the environment. Mary’s son Joshua made this amazing video “Mom’s Secret Life of Trashing” that went viral. Completely narrated by Mary this video shares her work and is a beautiful example of her service in the world. Thank you Mary for your dedication.

My Yoga journey began with a promise I made to my son Josh’s plea to promise him to “Just try it, Mom. Just try it.” Okay, okay, I said, “I promise.”

The Integral Yoga Institute of San Francisco (IYI) was just beginning to offer a new class called Gentle Yoga, for people who may have various physical problems. Josh had heard about the class and thought I’d be a good fit. I have had a paralyzed left arm after having polio when I was almost 3 years old, several years before the vaccine became available. So, in 2011 I went to IYI and met my first teacher, Jai, a pony-tailed, purple-haired gentleman. The class was quite small and included Yoga Nidra. I was immediately smitten and have never looked back!

A lifelong church-going, choir-singing Catholic, I have been a pray-er all those years, but Yoga introduced me to the practice of meditation. Certainly the church has a great history of contemplative prayer, even whole religious orders dedicated to its practice. However, I never learned, much less practiced, the actual elements of quieting the body and mind until Gentle Yoga! Yoga has, in effect, strengthened my own faith and deepened my prayer life.

I took full advantage of a number of Yoga classes on specialized techniques in practice, theory classes, and more. I have always been impressed by the kindness, gentleness, and hospitality shown to visitors. Its warm energy is actually palpable!

The benefits of Yoga practice combined with my own faith experience have been real and deep. I feel more peaceful, less anxious. I have received consistent practice in accessing a peaceful place inside of me. My respiratory ability, flexibility, stamina, balance, and overall strength—all of these areas have been maintained and improved over these years without strain, plus the additional benefit of my body’s being a “moving meditation!” Wow! In addition, I have made wonderful, supportive friends, who have taught me so much about serving with love! I am very, very grateful.

Hear about Mary’s seva in her own words in this video.