Dearest Yoga Tree Community,
For many of us, each season has a significant meaning or a lasting memory. Spring has a bubbling up of energy that can evoke the beginning of something promising or the end of something which has been endured. For me Spring is the end of the school year, the opening of our Yoga Studio (it’s our 15th Anniversary today!) and Jazz Fest in one of my favorite cities in the world: New Orleans!
“It feels like it’s not only back, but it’s stronger than before.
Once you lose something, or are about to lose something,
you see how valuable it is. You protect it even more. People
appreciate it even more.”
-Conversation between actor, Wendell Pierce, and television writer, Phil Rosenthal, on the subject of New Orleans post Katrina.
This time last year we traveled to New Orleans as a family and today we were (re-)watching a food & travel show called Somebody feed Phil (yes, you should watch it!) in New Orleans. We ate our way through the city and vowed to return soon and often. I’m lucky to have been there –a lot, but not often since Hurricane Katrina.
Today’s student spotlight, Margareta Horiba, moved to Baltimore from New Orleans 14 and a half years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. When I interviewed her last Fall I didn’t know when I would share her story. But it seems fitting for it to be today.
How long have you been practicing at Yoga Tree?
Over 14 years.
When not at Yoga Tree, what can we find you doing?
I take watercolor classes, read, take care of grandchildren, pick them up from school. My life is easy and enjoyable.
Favorite yoga pose/move and why?
Standing Bow Pose. I love the challenge. When I can balance it has such a good feeling. Camel and rabbit are wonderful for my back. Separate Leg stretching Pose; it is almost a restful for me.
What was your life like before you started coming to Yoga Tree? How did you feel in your body and your nervous system?
I wish I started yoga earlier. I did yoga in New Orleans before moving to Hampden. I was 63 when we moved here in quite a hurry due to Hurricane Katrina. (side note: Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, Margareta took her first class at Yoga Tree, We had been open for about 5 months). We were lucky that we didn’t have any personal danger or loss. We were safe and free to start again. My daughter lived here in Hampden and we took each day as it came. With my consistent yoga practice, I had the mental capacity to deal with it.
What has changed since you started practicing regularly at Yoga Tree?
I have more confidence in myself. I feel stronger in my legs and my back. I don’t have the stamina I had when I was younger. But muscularly, I am feeling stronger than ever before. I feel very good about myself that way. I feel confident and happy to be among young people.
Last week when I emailed Margareta to thank her for her ongoing support she responded:
“Dear, dear Sarah, You have been part of my life from one
calamity to another. I need you more than ever.
And your struggle just about breaks my heart.
I pray help is coming soon to you and many others in your situation. –What is taking them so long??
Every other day around 4 pm I set up my iPad and lay out my mat by the large window facing west toward the Roland tower.
When the sun is too strong I lower the blinds. I turn on a space heater and turn to you or Henri for a restorative hour…
So many of you have supported us this month, this year, and these many years. I want you to know that I am inspired by you. I am SO DETERMINED!
When I feel your support, I see it in your actions, your words and your caring gestures.
I see how valuable Yoga Tree is, to each of you. The vulnerability of almost losing it makes me even more determined to protect Yoga Tree!
I know on this 15th Anniversary this Spring will bring new growth and make us stronger than ever before.
I miss you all and I love you all,