The Shala Turns One!

Posted by Pranidhi Varshney on Sep 15, 2016
5591 reads  
Dear ones,

I wanted to share some ripples that have been flowing at the shala, inspired by our weekend together. 

Last weekend, we celebrated our first birthday with a led class, gratitude circle, and potluck. It was a beautiful gathering and the circle was filled with vulnerable and courageous shares, laughter, tears, and love. One of our students shared the struggle of cultivating compassion while caring for her 96 year old parents and simultaneously reveling in the joy of her young daughter. Another shared how the shala has been a respite for her over the summer after a challenging first year in college. Many students shared lessons of patience, listening, and surrender, and I shared the profound experience of witnessing my fears about motherhood wash away after seeing one of our students through her whole pregnancy and then meeting her baby. The power of community emerged as a central theme, and gratitude for having a safe space to engage in a practice that has the capacity to hold us through the breadth of human experience. The abundance of food afterward was also super joyful!

Inspired by Ari, I was thinking about ways to expand our circle of kindness and reached out to the senior center that neighbors us to see what we might be able to offer. They told us that snacks would be the best so several students made homemade treats and today we delivered them to the elders! It was a delightful experience, filled with lots of smiles. When I first approached the center, the owner was wary and asked me what I was trying to get out of it. Once he understood that we simply wanted to give a gift, his heart opened and he was very supportive. The whole staff was touched and our hearts were full as well! A small gesture that helped us get to know our community a bit better :)

Thank you to all for inspiring me, the shala, and our ever-evolving circles,


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Comments (9)

  • Pavi Mehta wrote ...

    What a BEAUTIFUL set of ripples! Lovely to hear about the heart-opening circle of sharing and how you paid-forward the nourishment of the shala in such a tangible way to the seniors!

  • Audrey Lin wrote ...

    So awesome to hear about this, Pranidhi! What an incredible way to celebrate 1 year of the shala! And I can only imagine the umpteen ripples that are invisibly unfolding in the wake of such a full-of-heart activity!

  • Shari Swanson wrote ...

    You are such an inspiration, Pranidhi. Thank you for sharing this story. I'm about to start teaching confirmation classes, and this is just the type of story I would love to share with them to help them think about the ripples they are making.

  • Birju Pandya wrote ...

    wow!! WOW!!! i just spoke to Ari earlier today and he was telling me that he had a very nourishing convo with you! i miss you lots! hope to get to see you soon :)

  • Anne-Marie Pandya wrote ...

    My heart is beaaaming reading this! So lovely for your students and the elders to have your spark of light in the community! So happy to hear of this! Happy One Year! Lots of love! <3

  • Trishna Shah wrote ...

    Really beautiful ripples indeed, thanks so much for sharing! It's so beautiful to see you all carrying your yoga practice beyond the four walls of the shala and into the community in this way, really moving.

  • Ariel Nessel wrote ...

    I think you have just inspired me to to visit a local senior center near our house with my boys. So grateful to have friends that bring out the best in one another. I will let you know how it goes!

  • Kozo Hattori wrote ...

    Pranidhi, Love how you not only served the elders in your community, but you also opened the hearts of the owner and the staff at the care center. So beautiful to see the adjunct ripples!

  • Patricia-C Prada Jimenez wrote ...

    How wonderful!