Today, we remember a teacher, mentor, and friend, Ruth Adeline Hartung, who died last week.
Director of Seven Centers Yoga Arts in Sedona for over twenty years, Ruth was known to her students as Sraddhasagar —Sanskrit for Ocean of Faith — and that she was.
She was a force for good and an inspiration to me.
Sraddha’s devotion to serving took her often to the Middle East, where she trained yoga teacher trainers to help embattled and traumatized people through the nightmare of ongoing conflict.
Her commitment to core yoga teaching included philosophy, diet, shatkarmas and kriyas, in addition to the more common teachings of asana and pranayama. This made her program, Influenced in part by the great Rama Jyoti Vernon, one of the most unique Yoga teacher training programs in the United States. She will be missed by family, friends, and countless students who were blessed by her teachings. The Yoga community and her family have lost her too soon, and my heart goes out to all who loved her.
Thich Nhat Hanh taught us that we can feel our feelings, that emotions are real. We can mourn for those we love who have passed. In fact in this poem I quote from, he also says that you can cry and he will be crying with you. But he also taught us that life (and death) are impermanent. What matters to me is that even the memory of love expands the heart.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.