Photo FUN-raising by Karuna (Carolyn) Beaver

carolyn_beaverI’m enjoying the photos of my fellow Svaroopis in all manner of yoga poses, in all sorts of situations. The enjoyment goes deeper than amusement, though. It reaches right down into gratitude for what Svaroopa Yoga has given me: the ability to stay open and grounded in the midst of life’s ups and downs. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to draw on this ability.

Yogeshwari (Melissa) Fountain was about three poses into a delicious weekend workshop at Matrika (Marlene) Gast’s studio in Boise, Idaho when we heard a huge boom. It sounded as if something heavy had fallen to the floor in the office next door. I went into the hallway that adjoins the two spaces and opened the door between them, which is usually locked. I saw daylight, heard a hissing sound and smelled something sickly sweet. A car had come off the freeway ramp behind the studio and crashed into the back of the building, hitting a gas main.

All 15 yogis and our teacher quickly exited the building and someone called 911 to report the incident. I knew we were not going to be able to continue the workshop, given the extent of the damage. I also knew it was not a particularly good idea to reenter the building, but a sense of calm and decisiveness came over me. I gathered as many people as I could and told them if they felt comfortable going back in, to grab as many blankets, blocks and chairs as they could carry in one trip. About 10 minutes later, props were loaded into cars, and we headed to my house to finish the workshop.

We moved furniture from my basement rec room to an adjoining kitchenette, and laid out blankets. It was quite tight, but no one seemed to mind, especially not my dog, Molly, who was quite happy to join us (see the photo of me up against the wall in JP, with Molly soaking up the Shakti). Yogeshwari taught from the top of a desk in the kitchenette, and Matrika wound up in a space in the hallway (see the photos of Yogeshwari teaching Slo Motion Dive from a squat on the desk and the “headless horseman” Matrika doing JP in the hallway!) Because the rec room is carpeted, and the centerpiece pose of the weekend was Reverse Triangle, we traipsed upstairs with chairs into my living/dining room with hardwood floors (see the photo of Yogeshwari in the dining room).

I was amazed at the good nature of the workshop participants, who almost seemed to enjoy the sense of adventure in the midst of a less than ideal situation. Everyone rolled with it and made it work. Grace. Yogeshwari’s skilled teaching and presence made it work. Grace. What could have been a “disaster” was transformed by Grace. Now THAT’S yoga in the midst of life! I am grateful for all that yoga and my Guru have given me.

Please enjoy the photos and consider what yoga has done for you in the midst of YOUR life. You can express your gratitude by voting for any of the photos in the “fun-raiser” contest, or by making a larger donation to the source of the teachings that supports you, Svaroopa Vidya Ashram.

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