Master Yoga – My New Home, by Sarah Hunter

I just have gotten back from YTT Level 1 training at Master Yoga – twelve days away from my family and my home.  What I didn’t know at the beginning was that I was gaining a new home.  It’s a home full of happiness, kindness, fun, energy, and love.

tulip tree blossomsMy second day of Foundations Review started with my responsibility of opening the classroom and setting up the puja.  I placed tulip tree blossoms by each Guru’s picture and lit the candles.  What a peaceful and graceful way to step into the day.

Being relatively new to Master Yoga, I found myself struggling to relearn the poses and alignments but I was so fortunate to have teachers who were compassionate and understanding.  My main concern was that I wouldn’t get things “right” but Polly and Karobi emphasized that this is all easy.  I realized I needed to slow down and be patient with myself.  I’ve begun to realize that I’m my harshest critic. This is a home where I can make mistakes and be lovingly taught.

In my new home there are many members that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.  They came from all over the country and the world.  What a wonderful thing to have – a family wherever you go.  It’s like that in my personal family.  I have 75 first cousins and we are spread everywhere.  But unlike my own family, the Master Yoga family is unified by our Svaroopa practice, our outlook on a life of joy and the serenity of knowing ourselves.

Each day was filled with meditations, chants, new poses and learning about the philosophy of yoga.  At first I couldn’t see how this was all connected and then suddenly at the very end it came to me like a shot.  Yoga is not just doing poses and going about your life the same old way.  Yoga is knowing yourself by diving into yourself.  It’s believing that I am Shiva and everything is Shiva. And when you open your eyes and see the universe believing this, then the world starts smiling at you.

I have found great joy in my new home, but unlike any traditional home, this one travels with me everywhere I am.  It’s as if I have finally awakened in a whole new place where there is music and laughter.  My loneliness is gone.  I just have to reach out and love myself.

Every family has its celebrations.  They are what bring us home.  Our home, Master Yoga, will be 21 years old soon.  21 candles alightThink about all of those who have poured their love into this family.   As a new member I realize I too have to be a catalyst for keeping the family together and rejoicing.

So my celebration will be at Plum Tree Yoga where we will have a party with cake, candles, balloons, yoga and laughter.  I invite you to put on your party clothes and bring your family together. My celebration, though, won’t be just one day. It will last the entire year and on from there.

Can it get any better than this?

Click here to get your Party-in-a-Packet and Birthday Poster.

The Fire of Yoga, by Swami Nirmalananda

A yoga teacher is a torch bearer, carrying the inner light to the next generation of yogis.  I remember when I made the shift from teaching regular classes plus a little bit of Teacher Training to focusing on training teachers.  It felt like a sacred trust was being placed in my hands.  I felt so honored.  I still do.

I teamed together with other Svaroopis to create Master Yoga in 1992, and have had the pleasure of working with so many in the process since.  I’ve learned a lot, but mostly I’ve learned to love — to appreciate what gifts each person brings, even when they masquerade as challenges.

Master Yoga has survived the latest challenge, almost like another fire.  This one didn’t destroy the whole building, but burned away a lot of dead wood.  We’re still tending the new growth and need your help to make it flourish.

Last October, we began a Reawakening process that has radically expanded our services while cutting staff and costs.  The balancing act continues, with your heartfelt generosity being a vital part of our continued existence.  Our annual Birthday campaign has always been a key part of our budget, and especially this year, especially at this time, we need your support.

Calgary candles cropped

photo by Brendan Nogue, Calgary

Your donation is doubled, due to the heartfelt gift of one of our major supporters, who is matching every dollar given, up to $10,000.  Thus when your donation joins everyone else’s, $10,000 turns into $20,000 — meeting our goal for this campaign.

Add your flame to the Fire of Yoga.  Help Master Yoga grow and shine, endure and serve — serving you as well as for the generations of yogis that are already coming in.

Click here to make your donation online, in any amount that works in your budget and in your life.  Thank you for your yogic heart and loving gifts!

With love and gratitude,

On behalf of all of Master Yoga, Swami Nirmalananda