It is with great joy and gratitude that I have had the chance to see, meet and maybe even teach each and every one of you at Hamsa over the last two years. The dearest and most precious gift one can get as a teacher is to witness one's students grow and mature on the path. I feel very touched and grateful for your trust, each time you lay arms open on your mats, ready to let go of what no longer serves you.
As you may know, I am now eight months pregnant and my body is calling me to temporarily withdraw from teaching, in order to focus on the upcoming birth of my daughter. Hamsa Yoga Space is very dear to me, and I feel grateful for all the teachers who will be taking over during my absence. I think this space reflects the essence and spirit of Yoga, in its simplicity of form and ethos, striving for continuity and stability despite the very nature of our ego, which always wants more: to sell more, to buy more, to produce more, to receive more, and to consume more.
The festive season is coming up, and I can already sense the shopping madness manifesting in the streets. The texts say that the path of Yoga begins with ethical guidelines to improve our relationships with other people (yama). We are social beings, and our relationships are our very first testing ground - and our greatest challenge, in my opinion. Usually translated as "non-greediness", the fifth of these guidelines literally means the "non-receiving of gifts" (aparigraha).
Now, does that mean that we shouldn't buy each other presents for Christmas? I don't think so. In my opinion, it means that we shouldn't fixate on them, but rather look for contentment (samtosha) within ourselves, and enjoy the warmth and light of our togetherness, during the darkest time of the year.
I strongly feel that, as a human species, we are going through potent times of change and crisis on a global scale; the rise of pollution, wars, conflicts, ludicrous governments, emotional fractures - to name only a few - are issues that need to be dealt with on a collective level. And in times of darkness, I like to recall the last words of the Buddha: "Make of yourself a light." Let's all make of ourselves a light, and shine that light to whoever or whatever cause or part of the world needs it most.
With love and gratitude,