COURAGE & LOVE

(from the Rasa newsletter, 10/21/2020)

I was always that person jumping all in – render consequences later, ask for forgiveness after, or as often was the case with me, don’t look back and just leap. That was a little like how it was when I started Rasa over twelve years ago. To be honest, it was more like running away from the corporate finance industry that I was disenchanted with, and diving into an industry I knew nothing about. I was simply a business person, with a my own set of personal tragedy and sorrows, desperate for the healing power of yoga. For some, jumping all in takes courage, but for me, rolling out my mat and showing up and being present to myself and others, takes more fortitude. And I, along with the highest caliber faculty of teachers and staff I have ever had the honor to work with, have been blessed to be part of your practice everyday, exemplifying true courage, heart & spirit. I will need to muster some courage once again now, as I share some big news…

It is time for me to retire from Rasa, and also, as her steward, retire Rasa. Some might ask why I don’t try to sell it or find an outside person to keep it going. Frankly, akin to yoga, it was always an inside job, cultivated by our special kula behind the scenes that work in service for our dear community, but also for each other. Without a clear internal path to carry it forward, which you must believe I did so doggedly pursue and explore, it feels right and necessary to call it good. I had intended to move on from Rasa nearly 4 years ago, but it wasn’t time then. The more recent plan had been to allow current Rasa staff to take over the operations this year, but the perfect storm happened: Covid, multiple months of closure, epic personal events for key staff, the Alameda fire… subsequently, fatigue & depletion on multiple levels set in deeply.

Please know, if I could have gotten this info out earlier or sooner, I would have. Internally, we went down every path, left no stone unturned, in order to explore many possible scenarios. It was only very recently that I was able to ascertain a clear heart and path for all those intimately involved, and that meant closure. (please see below for the timeline and logistics)

It may be incredibly sad or even feel dismal at times as you come to the studio for class or take an online class, knowing of our limited time together. I’ve definitely shed my fair number of tears as I look at the Rasa maple tree outside of the Earth studio and wonder what it will be like next year. Who will care for it with intention, and who in turn will preside over the holding of our sacred intentions? But that tree teaches us the lessons of impermanence – as the leaves have turned colors, and begin to fall, I am heartened that with Change comes Transformation. And New Beginnings. I hope that for each of us.

Most of all I hope that rasa, the nectar, the essence, the sap of life, continues to live in us well beyond these times, well beyond our doors, well beyond our individual mats. To love unconditionally takes courage. Because it requires an element of letting go. I have loved Rasa with all my heart and soul, and as we all learn eventually, just because something is physically no longer, doesn’t mean the love doesn’t live on. It deepens, it ripens and it spreads beyond our capacity to fathom at this very moment.

With all my heart,
Mariane

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