Celebration of events that are special is a vital part of a spiritual practice. It reveals who we are as a person and what we value. In sanskrit, the word for celebration is Utsava. Broken down, ut means removal and sava means wordly sorrows or grief. This is what celebration can do for us, transform our sadness and open up our heart.
Shree has been celebrating their 10 years in existence for the last month. First, on summer solstice with the free class on the plaza, where over 60 people practiced together, and lots of fun was had by all. Music was provided by the fabulous DJ, Julia Daye.
The celebration continued this past weekend at Shree where there were free yoga classes all weekend long. There were full classes, an hour in length, with our stellar line up of teachers. Utsava was in full force. Celebration themes and music with people opening their hearts to the joy of being part of a yoga studio that has become an intregal part of the Taos community.
The owners of Shree, Suki and Genevieve, have worked extremely hard to keep Shree open all these years. In the early days, both worked 2 or 3 jobs to help Shree survive. They always insist that the prices be kept affordable. There are many people that come from out of town that are amazed by how inexpensive Shree’s yoga classes are. Suki and Genevieve have the most to celebrate for their hard work and dedication to their business. They had a few comments to make about how they feel about celebrating the ten years that they have put their heart and soul into. Following are Suki and Genevieve’s musings on their utsava.
When Shree opened, we were following our hearts and an intuitive sense that the studio was the next right step. I will speak for myself and say that I had no idea what it would be like to run a business, what it would take to keep the doors open, or how fulfilling it would be to participate in all the tiny actions and tasks that make such a project function. I have learned to respect (and acknowledge) the small things that keep a boat floating, and in the reflection of ten years of Shree Yoga, I can see all those little decisions we made along the way shining back. Ten years feels like forever and an eyelash flash in the same moment.
Being together with our community on the plaza made my heart feel full to bursting. And the response and gratitude expressed for this weekend of free classes is so encouraging. We are doing a good thing. It is helping people and they appreciate it. I vow to apply myself to finding new and better ways to serve a growing and transforming population and am most excited to continue the learning along the way.
It is heart warming to be a part of a community “kula” of like minded people; people who value the life enhancing goodness that comes with a dedicated yoga practice. Celebrating commitment, community, the value of seva and bhakti, and the personal triumph of getting this far in this project has felt absolutely and utterly joyful – “ananda” to the max! And to share it with others is what it’s all about… has been from the beginning and will continue to be!
As well as Genevieve and Suki, some of the teachers at Shree added feedback about what they felt about the anniversary celebration of ten years. Liz claims, “I so deeply appreciate not only the great classes with great teachers at Shree, but also the guidance as a teacher, the mentoring, that I get from Suki and Genevieve, and the other knowledgeable teachers who have more experience than I have, such as Adi and Rob. I am supported both in my own practice, and as a teacher, and I suspect that is rare.”
Rob Stewart had the following to say… “As Shree Yoga Taos celebrates 10 years of serving the Taos community, it is both an honor and a pleasure to be a part of the Shree team. I feel a sense of wellbeing and joy whenever I step into this gorgeous space. Participating in the free weekend of celebratory yoga classes was an opportunity to share in that joy as well as give back to the community. Cheers to many more years of Shree Yoga Taos.”
I, Alice, felt a renewed sense of love for a yoga studio that I have been coming to since its inception. The opportunity to have such experienced teachers help me with my own practice and teaching has been invaluable. It was wonderful to feel the jubilation in the air and add to that energy by teaching a class on utsava and watching everyone open their hearts.
Thank you Shree community for joining us in our celebrations for the last few weeks. We hope that it encourages everyone to recognize how important celebration/utsava is in our life as a spiritual practice. Here’s to removing sorrows and griefs by celebrating.