Hridaya Yoga Newsletter – February 2016

 

Dearly beloved Hridaya family,

Welcome to our first newsletter of 2016. It is with much joy, love, and blessings that we wish you the very best for the year ahead from your home away from home in Mazunte — the land of eternal sunshine.

At the Hridaya Yoga Center, New Year’s was celebrated with a deeply heart-opening meditation during the festive season’s 10-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat. Claud and Antoaneta hosted a special meditation, connecting with countries around the world to welcome the beginning of 2016. Sahajananda joined in the meditation from Romania, where he was hosting a retreat. From a place of Stillness, we sent love and light to our brothers and sisters across the globe, strengthening the sense of Oneness for the year ahead.

This year marks a very exciting time for the school and for the Hridaya family: record-breaking student enrollment in all of our courses (this month we have a jaw-dropping 60 students in Module 1), system improvements to streamline students’ interaction and experience with us, a new Karma Yoga Program launching in September, and recent promising developments with the Ramana Village Project. This year, the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese zodiac, will be a time when we will have the ability to do the seemingly impossible, where new innovations, inspirations, and ideas will be explored — all with a twinkle of mischievousness in our eyes.

HAPPENINGS AT THE HRIDAYA YOGA CENTER

17-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat
This year, the annual 17-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat starts 3 March. Thanks to the generosity of Rose, the owner of neighboring Hotel Arigalán, the last seven days of the retreat will take place in hotel’s spacious yoga hall. This will allow us to maintain an atmosphere of stillness for the retreat participants while the Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive takes place at the Center.

3-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats In Spanish
Starting on 4 March, we will begin offering 3-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats in Spanish, presented by senior teacher Nicholas. We hope to be able to make this a permanent event on our course calendar as the number of both Spanish-speaking students and teachers grows.

Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 5
We are looking forward to the launch of Module 5 on 15 March. Quite a few students and Hridaya teachers are eager to immerse themselves in this brand-new course, which presents more advanced hatha yoga techniques that bring the awakening of kundalini shakti and support the capacity to witness its tremendous effects.

Upcoming Workshops
We have an abundance of interesting workshops to share with you this spring. From 28 February – 1 March, Sahajananda shares the wisdom of Kashmir Shaivism in the Art of Awareness. From 25-27 March, The 3-Day Goddess Tara Retreat with Antoaneta will bring together the most efficient practices from Tantra, Sufism, Yoga, and Western spirituality to open the heart and awaken the power of compassion within us.

By popular demand, we will offer two of our most beloved workshops again in April. From 7-9 April, Antoaneta will present Practical Tantra, and from 21-23 April, Claud will lead From Pain To Peace. You can see the full listing of upcoming workshops and book your place here.

Referral Program
Just a reminder that the Hridaya Yoga Referral Program is up and running. Contact info@hridaya-yoga.com for more information and to register.

RECENT WORKSHOPS

Practical Tantra
In December, the Hridaya Center welcomed over 50 students to Antoaneta’s Practical Tantra workshop. The group learned practical, efficient methods for deepening the practice of conscious lovemaking. Using techniques drawn from Tantra, Taoism, and Mysticism, participants explored how to harness sexual energy to reach altered states of consciousness and, ultimately, transcend all limitations.

From Pain To Peace
In Claud’s lauded From Pain To Peace workshops in December and January, participants dedicated 3 days to learning practical methods to transmute suffering, traumas, and difficulties into awareness. The workshop’s focus was on increasing self-love and compassion, the generosity of forgiveness, and the importance of living an authentic life imbued with pure intentions.

Body Wave
In January, Chris, a Hridaya Yoga student and karma yogini, offered “Body Wave” — a 2-day dance movement workshop. This heart-opening workshop allowed participants to dive into the core of their being through movement, partner work, and creative reflections.

OTHER INTERESTING NEWS

Lonely Planet
The Hridaya Yoga Center, described by many of the wonderful beings that have graced its cherished halls as one of the best-kept secrets on the Oaxacan Coast, has had its first glimpse of international recognition. In October, Lonely Planet ranked the Center as one of the “best places to seek silence” in the world! Other spiritual centers mentioned include the renowned Esalen Institute in California and the revered Iona spiritual community in Scotland. You can view the full article here. If you find it inspiring, please share it on your personal Facebook page to help us continue sharing Hridaya’s love across the planet.

Top Things To Do In Mexico
Our 10-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats also made the SavoirFaireAbroad.com’s list of 16 Things Every Traveller Should Experience In Mexico. It is an honor to be included on the short list of things to do in this wonderful and varied country.

Video: What Is Yoga?
After the success of the Learn To Love Useless Moments video, we are pleased introduce another video made by our friends Nico and Emi of Coast to Coast: What Is Yoga?

Hridaya Teacher Training Course
After another truly transformational HTTC journey, we are blessed to welcome 33 new Hridaya teachers into our ever-expanding Hridaya family. A beautiful and emotional final ceremony marked the end of this wondrous chapter for our newly certified teachers. May aspiration, bhakti, and pure love continue to fill their hearts in the next stage of their spiritual journeys. If you are interested in the 2016 course, applications are now open and spaces are filling fast. More information can be found here.

49-Day Prathyabhijna Retreat
As the January 10-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat ended, 14 dedicated practitioners moved to nearby Aguas Blancas to continue their journey in solitude for the last 39 days of the annual 49-Day Prathyabhijna Retreat. While in solitude, participants will receive personal guidance from Sahajananda to assist them in taking their meditations and spiritual understanding to a deeper level so that they may ultimately recognize the Consciousness of Oneness. We wish them love, stillness, and surrender on their journey into the Heart.

Fundraising Efforts
Hridaya teacher Molly Hock and her partner Kyle are currently volunteering with Team Humanity to assist refugees from Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan arriving via raft to Lesvos Island, just off the coast of Greece. Many of these refugees are fleeing war zones and unimaginable conditions in their home countries. Molly and Kyle are working with limited support, often without sleep, in order to patrol the coast for the numerous rafts that land daily. They are using 100% of the donations that they receive to provide families in need with meals, supplies, and ferry tickets to the mainland. Click here to read their blog and to donate to the cause.

Nina’s Big Move
After several unsettling years for Hridaya’s beloved dog and mascot Nina, we are thrilled to announce that she has permanently moved to Germany with Eileen, a Hridaya teacher. With her new winter jacket and booties ordered, Nina is all set for her big adventure, which will begin in the Swiss mountains. We are all excited for her new phase of life and are so grateful to Eileen for providing our dear canine friend with a more harmonious living environment, even though she will be sorely missed at the Center.

Karma Yogi Appreciation Night
Last month, we celebrated the wonderful team of karma yogis that serve selflessly to support the smooth running of the Center. Made possible by the generous donation of one of our Hridaya family members, we hosted a pizza party at La Termita, one of our favorite restaurants in San Agustinillo.

40-Day Dark Retreat Experience
As some of you may know, last month Hridaya yogini Kali Aney returned to the outside world after a 40-day dark room retreat at The Hermitage, Guatemala. For a truly inspirational and insightful account of her experience, please visit our blog.

Magical Mazunte
Mazunte was recently named one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Mágicos” (“Magical Towns”). This prestigious title ranks our hometown among other famous “pueblos,” such as San Cristóbal de las Casas, Tepotzlán, and San Miguel de Allende. One of the main reasons for this recognition is the beautiful natural phenomenon that occurs on the surrounding beaches — the nesting of sea turtles. Since 1990, Mazunte has made turtle conservation a priority, as it is where four main species of turtle, the Green Turtle, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley, and Leatherback, come to lay their eggs.

The biodiversity of Mexico’s southernmost point, Punta Cometa, is plentiful, as it is on the migration path of many different species of birds and marine life. Humpback whales pass by from December to March, so now is a perfect time to come and observe these majestic creatures.

Punta Cometa has long been revered for its ability to support healing and is a ceremonial site that has been held sacred by the people of this area since pre-Hispanic times. Its power is undeniable and apparent to all spiritual seekers who visit the magical town of Mazunte. A few years ago, His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama recognized Punta Cometa as an energetically powerful site, including it as a stop for a vessel of ashes that he sent on tour to 150 countries with the intention of supporting world peace.

BRANCH SPOTLIGHT

Casa Hridaya, Mexico City
Based in a beautiful 1800’s colonial landmark house (protected by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia), Casa Hridaya recently opened its doors to the public in Colonia San Miguel Chapultepec, Mexico City.

Located near the Bosque de Chapultepec (the Chapultepec Woods  the lungs of the city), Casa Hridaya’s intention is to bring the teachings of the Spiritual Heart to those living or traveling through Mexico City in order for them to have a physical space to start or continue the revelation of their true nature.

A few words about Casa Hridaya from Enrique:
Casa Hridaya offers Hridaya Meditation, Hridaya Hatha Yoga, and other yogic techniques on a daily basis (Monday-Saturday). We also share weekend silent retreats every month for those who are willing to dive deeper into the Heart with Hridaya Meditation. For our current calendar, visit www.casahridaya.com or the Casa Hridaya page on Facebook.

OTHER HRIDAYA OFFERINGS AROUND THE WORLD

Kamala Yoga and Meditation Center in Brasov, Romania offers solitary retreats and dark retreats. It also offers Hridaya Hatha Yoga classes, workshops, and weekend meditation retreats (email: centrulkamala@gmail.comwww.kamala.ro).

In The Netherlands, Esmeralda offers a 6-month Hridaya Yoga Module 1 City Intensive in Rotterdam. She also holds 1-, 5-, and 10-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats three times per year (email: esmeralda.dehartschool@gmail.com; www.dehartschool.nl; www.facebook.com/dehartschool.

On 27 February, in Bedford, England, Emma B. and Gosia will offer a 1-day Hridaya workshop called “Courage & Transformation: Explore your deep desires, the true calling of the Heart” (email: emmabrad1ey@yahoo.co.uk; email: gosia4000@gmail.com).

Elsewhere in Europe, Christina offers weekly Hridaya Yoga classes in Vienna, Austria (www.atmanjali.com). Raluca teaches Hridaya Hatha Yoga and Meditation classes and gives weekend retreats in Brasov, Romania (email: contact@santosha.ro). And, Esther teaches Hridaya Meditation and Hatha Yoga classes and workshops in Bern, Switzerland (www.kaliayoga.ch).

In North Florida, USA, Adina’s Satya Sattva branch offers Hridaya Yoga classes and workshops on Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach. Adina is currently conducting a research project cross-testing several Hridaya Hatha Yoga and Qigong practices for comparable results, using simultaneous Electroencephalography and Heart-Rate Variability data collection. The project includes asana practice, meditation, and techniques such as trataka, phosphenism, and rhythmic breathing. The results will be made freely available to the Hridaya Yoga community (www.satyasattva.com).

The two Hridaya branches at Lake Atitlán, Guatemala continue to provide space for transformation. Arjuna created Mahadevi Ashram to offer students a safe environment in which to explore the mysteries of existence. Upcoming courses include a 1-Month Hridaya Yoga Intensive from 29 February – 27 March, a 5-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat 5-11 May, and a 17-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat 1-19 August (both retreats by donation). In addition to Mahadevi’s course offerings, they lead weekly kirtan and cacao ceremonies, offer space for dark retreats, and provide a long-term residence for personal retreats and for participants in their Karma Yoga program (MahadeviAshram.org).

In nearby San Pablo la Laguna, Emma C. and Severin’s The Hermitage is a tranquil spot for solo retreats and dark retreats and will offer a 30-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat presented by Claud and Luna 1-30 May (email: thehermitagegt@gmail.com; www.thehermitageretreats.com).

In Atlit, Israel, Gev is teaching Module 1 (email: gevg83@gmail.com). In Puebla, Mexico, Regina leads weekly Hridaya Yoga classes at AMMA studio (email: soyreginasanchez@gmail.com). On Lake Titicaca, Peru, Lakshman presents monthly Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats. Starting in March, he will begin to offer regular retreats in Spanish as well (www.meditationretreatperu.com).

The family of the Heart continues to grow in Australia, as Spanda School is now officially open in Fremantle! Ava and Lani lead regular hatha yoga classes and will offer a 6-week Hridaya Meditation Course beginning 23 February (email: avaairani@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/spandaschool). And, in Newcastle, New South Wales, Tamara teaches ongoing drop-in Hridaya Hatha Yoga classes and leads regular 6-week Hridaya Meditation Courses (email: yogaheartspace@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/yogaheartspace.

At Agama Yoga in Koh Phangan, Thailand, Allie leads weekly Hridaya Meditation sessions (email: allie.reece@gmail.com). And, Keith will present 1-Day Hridaya Intensive Retreats 27 March and 24 April as well as a 3-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat 14-16 August (agamayoga.com). Sahajananda will return to Agama to lead an 8-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat 3-10 July.

Finally, we are very happy to announce that the Hridaya teachings are now being shared in Africa! Dee will offer a 3-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat in Cape Town, South Africa 25-28 March (email: hridaya.yoga.southafrica@gmail.com; www.facebook.com). 

From all of us here in Mazunte, we wish you an inspiring year full of love, joy, and, of course, Stillness. May the Sacred Tremor of the Heart enlighten your entire life!

With Love,
The Hridaya Sangha