I hope you’re all enjoying the sunshine and warmth (and heat) of the summer.
Here at the Centre the summer season seems to be flying by. The first part of July was full and rich, with the first session of Yoga Teacher Training alongside the Yoga Service and Study Immersion program. Meanwhile plans for the Annual Community Yoga Retreat were in full swing. Following the retreat, YTT students will return for their second session, graduating as yoga teachers in mid-August.
At this moment, the beginning of August, ACYR – our 40th annual yoga retreat – is underway. The retreat program includes many wonderful classes and other offerings. In the midst of preparing for retreat program offerings, a late entry emerged – a mini Ramayana!
For those who aren’t familiar with the story of the Ramayana, here’s a brief introduction: It is a symbolic tale, full of adventure, of Prince Rama, symbolic of the God-principle in every human being, and his wife Princess Sita, symbolizing human consciousness, the embodied soul. The demon king Ravana, symbolic of the deluded ego, captures Sita. It is an allegory of the individual soul losing contact with the the higher Self. Hanuman, the monkey hero of the story is the epitome of faith and devotion. He finds Sita, leading to Sita’s being reunited with Rama. Thanks to Piet and Brian and a talented group of karma yogis who were inspired by the idea (and the costumes and music), it grew into a play, with music and dance, complete with a final battle in which Rama defeats Ravana. All this in a twenty minute mini extravaganza!
Satsang and Wednesday evening kirtan continue as always, and the music has been awesome! We have so many wonderful singers and musicians here! On Wednesday evenings, those who want to try leading a kirtan are invited to try, often for the first time. It’s a great opportunity for people to overcome their shyness and learn to feel comfortable leading a song for others.
Our satsang community – both those at the Centre and those living elsewhere on the island – are delighted to welcome our newest satsang addition. Welcome to Priya, Vidya and Jonas’ beautiful baby girl.
In this month’s Newsletter
As part of our ongoing introduction to people in our satsang community, I’m pleased to introduce Emily Rose in the article, “Our Satsang Community”. Emily grew up in a satsang family in Hawaii, California,Texas and Quebec (read the story for details), and later met and married Gabriel Rose, part of our satsang since his birth. The two of them play a big role in the Vancouver satsang.
As always, Pratibha has shared her wisdom in this edition. This month’s article is called “Keeping your Cool”. It is full of practical, immediately applicable tips for dealing with heat (in our bodies, in our minds). It will be useful for everyone who’s experiencing heat, whether internal or external.
Kris Cox, the Centre’s programs coordinator for the past two years, shares “King Arthur’s Pose” (yes, it’s an unusual name) in the Asana of the Month series. Kris, an ardent runner, has been teaching asana here at the Centre, and has managed to get folks from her running group to come to classes and do yoga. Apparently, runners need yoga. Check it out, especially if you are into running or other forms of fitness exercise.
Tolerance, compassion and contentment are the focus of Babaji’s teachings in this edition. He has recommended this simple (though not always easy) shift in focus in our daily lives to support us in developing a life of peace. Wherever we are in our life’s journey, this practice is always accessible – and it works.
With wishes for peace,