Eden Volunteer of the Month - October 2017

Maggie Fukuda at Hayward Senior, Hayward

We are so proud of the volunteers who choose to give their time to our affordable communities and residents. You can read other stories about our volunteers at Meet Our Volunteers.  If you're interested in volunteering with Eden, please go to Volunteer with Eden Housing.

Below is Eden Housing's Volunteer of the Month

Name: Maggie Fukuda

Property: Hayward Senior

Why did you chose to volunteer with Eden Housing? Ever since I started my Yoga training I knew I wanted to take Yoga to seniors and anyone who does not consider themselves fit, active, flexible, energetic etc. So many of us have so many stories inside our head about how we are not good enough, especially for physical movement. There is so much more to Yoga than just Power Vinyasa Yoga with super fit young people sweating in hot rooms or doing handstands. That kind of Yoga is great. However, I was fortunate in my training to learn about a vast world of Yoga varieties and approaches to take Yoga to all walks of life. I feel like several groups are getting left out of the benefits that Yoga can offer. Kids, seniors, people recovering from injury, and just regular people that feel like it is unapproachable, or they have to feel flexible first. I feel like Yoga really is the best form of exercise all around. It’s not just physical movement, it’s breathing, it’s meditation, it’s low impact, and offers every kind of modification for wherever a person is any moment. You don’t have to be anything to do Yoga. If you are in a chair, if you are in a bed, if you are injured and you practice your way, you are still practicing Yoga. You can do it from where you are, physically and mentally. You don’t have to be fit, flexible or even feel good that day. I want to bring that to the world. I hope people get whatever they can get from it, practicing and modifying in their own way, knowing that whatever they get that’s beneficial is enough.  Yoga and by meeting yourself where you are. The most flexible part has to be your mind; being willing to accept yourself where you are and being at peace with that. Then everything else will fall into place.

What have you learned through your volunteer experience? Have there been any surprises? I’ve learned that you can never predict the day or the moment and that that’s the best part. Some days are hotter. Some are colder. Sometimes we’re all tired for no reason, sore and stiff but we all show up with whatever we have to offer and we’re willing to give that to each other and ourselves as a community. We make do with where we are. That’s really all we can do. I’ve learned that poses don’t matter. How we show up does. My students are open minded, friendly, flexible, coachable, patient with me and themselves no matter how they feel physically that day and still show up. I wish I could embody more of those qualities, especially off of my mat. I’ve grown wiser because of them. We all come to respect ourselves and each other and that’s what really matters.

What do you like best about volunteering with Eden Housing? The steady community of weekly Yogis I get to see on a regular basis and how positive and friendly they all are. And Grace. She has been invaluable at helping our sessions run smoothly, more comfortably, and reminding people about class and scheduling my classes when I know she has so much going on, on a daily basis. It’s so nice to be met with such support and so many smiles. While I do have to take time off from teaching once and awhile I do miss the days I’m not there. Yoga like any exercise can be one of those things you never feel like doing, but once you do, it was worth it. It’s the community however that keeps me and I hope everyone else coming back week after week.

Are there any tips that you would share for someone else who is considering volunteering? Know your heart. Be genuine. Do it out of love because it gives you joy. I knew I wanted to make Yoga accessible and affordable to a group of people who felt like it wasn’t ever going to be for them. I knew I wanted to reach out to the elderly specifically. Yoga is for EVERY BODY. Young, old, injured, middle class etc. Once you know your purpose, everything else falls in place. Real friendships develop. Support finds you. Whatever you do, be real. Do it for you first. Be constant to your higher purpose. Be authentic to yourself. Let whatever you offer be your joy. Let showing up fully, consistently, and giving your best effort be easy and inspiring.

Tell us something we may not know about you. Any interesting facts you’d like to share about your life? I met my husband Argentine Tango dancing, a hobby we continue to keep up regularly, going to classes, workshops and Tango festivals often. My guilty pleasures include playing video games, listening to music far too loudly, watching Korean dramas and consuming an illegal amount of coffee on a daily basis.


If you're interested in volunteering with Eden, please go to Volunteer with Eden Housing.


For more information on how to become a volunteer or to attend a volunteer orientation, please email Leah.Cerri@edenhousing.org or call (510) 247-8138

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eden housing does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, or any other arbitrary basis.