by Hanna Rosenthal Alterman
“Your acts of kindness are iridescent wings of divine love, which linger and continue to uplift others long after your sharing.” -Rumi
When I came to Eugene Yoga about three and a half years ago, I needed a refuge. My life as I knew it had been pulled apart as a debilitating chronic illness forced me to move back home to Eugene, across the world from my husband and job. I needed somewhere to go every day, a place to move and to be in my body. This practice gave me a tether to my body, a thin string that kept me grounded and prevented me from floating away into a sea of panic and anxiety about my health and future. My physical symptoms and pain had kept me isolated and ashamed. But at this studio I found community. And friendship. Honest to god, heart-to-heart, real, raw love and support in my instructors, colleagues and students, the depths of which I had never experienced before. My journey continued through yoga teacher training. Through weak, sick, and doubtful times, my classmates and teachers cheered me on, loved me, laughed with me and supported me through eight months of anatomy class, asana, philosophy, and practice teaching. Last fall, when I took time off to undergo major abdominal surgeries, I was blown away by the love and support I received. From care packages and meals to notes, texts, and phone calls, I was led through this difficult and scary time by my Eugene Yoga community. As I recovered and began teaching my own classes, I experienced a new dimension of this practice — holding space for others, guiding my students through a practice to connect them with their bodies. It’s been a privilege to practice, work and teach at this studio and be a part of this community. As I move onto my next journey with renewed physical health and resilience, I feel how deeply I’ve been transformed by this community. By its warmth, love and deep compassion, I will carry this with me always.