A Directors Letter on the occasion of Passover and Easter
As Passover and Easter celebrations are upon us and Spring gently begins, we want to
share with you the gist of many dialogues we have had during this period of time, as our
stories are part of the ancient sacred stories being told and they add their own
These beautiful holidays carry a common archetype of movement from contraction to
expansion, from bondage to freedom, from death to eternal life and echo ancient
invocations of Yoga thousands of years earlier –a tradition that welcomes all others with
It is there in the familiar invocation:
Lead us from the Unreal to the Real,
Lead us from Darkness to Light
Lead us from Death to Immortality
All traditions express that age-old longing for a liberating passage into freedom and light
and this remains unchanged in the human heart throughout time.
In the Passover story, the powerful experience of the Exodus describes a journey out of
the old way of thinking into a new way. We also are making an exodus out of the old way
which is dying everywhere in our own world and making room for a new way to come
into being –it is definitely a passage out of constriction into expansion and it is happening
inside ourselves and as a global community with much commotion and chaos that comes
with massive change.
Like us, the ancient Israelites, poised at the edge of the Red Sea hearing the pounding
hooves of the pursuing armies, were said to have been of four differing minds: to go
back to how it was, to fight valiantly for change or die, to drown in sorrow or to place
ourselves in the hands of Fate and hope for a miracle, deus ex machina.
Triumphantly, in the story or the Exodus, the people leaving as a collective, standing at
the edge of the Sea stepped forward and waded into the water. We also are making a
transformational journey. Our old way of thinking is being transformed, we are in a
process that allows us to shed old paradigms both as individuals and as a collective and
we know we cannot go back the way it was, nor make war, nor kill ourselves, nor hope
for a miracle, as we are at the edge of the Big Sea. We know we have to wade into it and
play our part fully.
Looking at a beautiful moment in the Easter story, Mary grieves at the empty tomb of
Jesus and fears his body has been taken. Yet, although Jesus appears to her, she doesn’t
recognize him! He calls her by name: “Mary! Do you not recognize me?” This moment
of Recognition is pivotal, the moment of a coming into a new consciousness beyond all
that happens here in the world of form and marks a turning point. It is archetypal. It is
an ending of entanglement in the constriction of the world and the first steps into the new
paradigm. This is the expansion we celebrate in these Holidays—an expansion that has
no turning back, a turning point into life lived anew with the Infinite dimension of our
being as our deepest foundation.
What is significant to me in these stories is that fear and doubt are part of the shift. Yet
if we try to leave our own darkness behind, the unwanted parts of us, we will only have to
go back for them as they fuel our passion for emancipation. There is no freedom without
transforming our suffering and our fear, our hidden feelings, our wrong notions and our
darkest thoughts. It must all come with us. In these great celebratory stories, the call to
freedom and eternal great-ness, includes a place for our ordinary limitations. We bring it
all forth with compassion so it can be tamed, released, transformed and uplifted.
This is the heart of Yoga Sadhana, the path of Yoga. It is a transformational journey
from darkness to light in which the dark is alchemized by the fire of our yoga practices
and gives us power for the journey.
The first principle of our Hatha practice is Open to Grace. The foundation of each asana
is a call to Infinite life and an invitation to step into a transformational journey, a process
in which we find ourselves slowly pulled into higher energies and into a state of Unity
The viewpoint of Yoga is inclusive and embraces the universal teachings found in all
traditions. We take nourishment from them freely though we come from multiple back-
grounds. We enjoy a common perspective that is part of the unifying forces at play right
now in the world……… if we have eyes to see it.
Let us try to hear its subtle call, its powerful invitation. As a community, let us be part of
this evolutionary shift of the human family.
I thank all of you for sharing yourselves, offering inspiration and all you bring to our
practices at the World Yoga Center during these celebrations of Freedom, as we tilt the
scales of the Vernal Equinox that hold the light and the dark in perfect equilibrium.