By Kari Harendorf, July, 2009

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal” – Aleister Crowley

Karma and I planted a root garden. I bought a kit where we plant a carrot, a radish and a green onion in glass tubes that are held in a wooden frame so you can see not only the shoots coming up, but the roots growing down into the soil. She is almost 4 and was so excited when she woke up the next day to run down into the kitchen and check on her garden. Until she saw it. Nothing had happened overnight. Or the next night. Or pretty much for the next week. But we had a lot of opportunity to talk about how things grow! You need to have the proper conditions to invite and optimize growth.

First, you prepare the soil. (We had to soak peat pellets in 1/2 c. water each over 2 nights). Then you plant a seed. You make sure you nurture that seed with all the things it needs to grow. Water, sunlight, love. And a LOT of patience.

Our focus this month as we spring into summer at Yoga Shanti is GROWTH.

In many ways, growth is how we measure our life as it has to do with renewal and change. It has been a year of tremendous change for many of us. What we do with our experiences, and how we assimilate our circumstances can propel us forward or stagnate us. The strongest principle of growth is human choice. It was William Butler Yeats that said “… we are happy when we are growing.”

Growth is about expansion and saying YES! Not an easy thing to practice in these times of uncertainty where everything and everyone around us seems to be in a state of contraction. What a perfect time to start an endeavor! The conditions are ripe for sowing those seeds of “could of, would of, should of”s. Open up to the possibility of your life and reach past the attainable.

Seeing the brand new construction of a beautiful building in town must have planted a seed in Colleen’s mind.

This month marks the opening of an additional studio in Sag Harbor, Yoga Shanti Lakshmi at 32 Bridge Street, behind the Schiavonis supermarket (plenty of parking!). We are saying YES to expansion, growth and change.

Three days ago I came home late from work and went to clean up the kitchen. When I looked over at the windowsill there was a single green shoot that had emerged high above the soil line in our middle glass tube! I was in awe. I couldn’t wait until Karma woke up in the morning! We ran down to the kitchen. She was so thrilled and full of accomplishment.

As Henry Miller said, All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience.

So go ahead…. Plant a seed. See what grows.

Happy Summer!

Kari Harendorf

Kari became a yoga teacher in 2001. She holds numerous yoga teaching certifications, but her favorite by far is the Yoga Shanti Teacher Training Program, which she has now completed four times: twice as a mentor, and twice on faculty. She opened East Yoga Center, in the East Village of Manhattan, in 2004, and was the director of the studio for seven years, until she moved with her family to Sag Harbor full time in 2010. Kari is thrilled to be a part of YSNY.

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