Over the New Year holiday, a friend of mine–a local yoga teacher and studio manager–died in a hiking accident while attending a yoga festival in Mexico. Hari Simran was a vibrant and magnetic soul, and at 25 years old, everyone knew that he had a very bright future ahead of him. As the yoga world comes together to mourn his passing, we look for lessons in this unexpected tragedy.

One thing that has come very clear to me is the importance of community. By joining together to support one another, we’re able to weather losses. We can help prop each other up and lend a hand when needed. This is not a sign of weakness; as humans, we are social beings and we depend on others to face what life throws at us.DSC_7295

At Lighthouse Yoga Center, building community has always been one of our top priorities. We take pride in being a small yoga center in a rapidly changing neighborhood, where long-time Petworth residents and recent arrivals can meet. It’s important to me that we foster a non-competitive environment, where we work the mind and soul as much as–if not more than–the body.  For that reason, we offer a variety of teachings and trainings that aren’t found in many other yoga studios in the area, such as meditation and Kundalini Yoga. We love that we can provide a sanctuary for people looking for a break from the stresses of daily life.

As part of a community, we remind ourselves that we’re universal beings. Each one of us is connected to the infinite, and we are all perfect in our own individual way. We are also connected to one another, which gives us the ability to uplift and elevate all of those around us.

At times I’m sure everyone feels as if they’re close to the edge of the cliff, so to speak. But with the knowledge that we are part of a larger whole, of a community that embraces our similarities and our differences, we will find the support we need to stay balanced. Life isn’t perfect, and unhappy things do happen, but with a little help, we’ll keep one foot on the ground.

Please join me in welcoming the New Year, and I look forward to seeing you soon in class.

Sat nam namaste,

Julie / Jiwan Shakti Kaur