- Meric Ekren
A Letter of Gratitude for the past decade
At the beginning of this decade, I was 30 years old &
burnt-out from working a high-demand career in corporate London. I closed that door the same year and found myself standing on a beach in Srilanka teaching English at a local school & an orphanage.
I was 31, when I fell in love twice within the same year. First with yoga and then with Norway.
Everyday for a year, I would study yoga from whatever source I could get my hands on. There were no studios in Hamar. Yoga became my companion and helped me endure my first winter in Norway.
A year later, I completed my yoga teacher training and started to work straight away in Hamar. My first weekend workshop was in Mammuthus at Gåsbu among the precious collection of stones and rocks of Hedmark.
In 2013, at 34, I opened my own yoga studio on Grønne Gata. It evolved so much over the years and I am still teaching in the same place, still mostly on Wednesdays.
Yoga changed the course of my life. Shaped the woman I became. The practitioner, the teacher, the entrepreneur. I've regained my hands, feet, spine and breath back. It inspired me to travel countless hours on the airplanes to study with the giants of Yoga & Movement experts. I wrote a course book called -Foundations of Yoga- and found myself & Grace on the Yoga Mat. I discovered spirituality, self-inquiry, mindfulness, presence, and peace. I built friendships, shared heartbreaks & sorrows, learned to listen, to speak, to stay with the stormier and snowy side of life with a fair bit of grace. Mostly ;-)
I've since spent a decade sharing my passion of yoga to around 3000 people aged 10-94 both in Norway & internationally. Those who know me well would have noticed, I keep a record of every single person who stepped on the yoga mat with me.
Along the way, I felt a deep motivation to create a beautiful sweet community of yogis invested in slowing down, turning inward, building strength and letting go when it is time. Together, we have changed forever.
Whether we met in person or not, it's been my honour to build something from my heart and see it help others as well as myself. Praise you! Yoga also given me into something that wasn't yoga. I trained as dance facilitator, began to show interest in Martial arts, studied Sanskrit & Ayurveda, researched nervous system & quantum physics and finally I became an anatomy geek! These days, I am exploring the Modern Contemporary dance movements to increase my range of mobility & freedom . -without a doubt, I'll forever be curious of movement. As this new decade unfolds, I have new dreams, sheer excitement & trust in my heart, and curious to see where it will take me. Until then, I'll leave you with my all time favorite poem by Douglas Malloch.
Have a joyous Christmas and a magical new decade! With Love,
The tree that never had to fight For sun and sky and air and light, But stood out in the open plain And always got its share of rain, Never became a forest king But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil To gain and farm his patch of soil, Who never had to win his share Of sun and sky and light and air, Never became a manly man But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow with ease, The stronger wind, the stronger trees, The further sky, the greater length, The more the storm, the more the strength. By sun and cold, by rain and snow, In trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth We find the patriarchs of both. And they hold counsel with the stars Whose broken branches show the scars Of many winds and much of strife. This is the common law of life.
'Good Timber' by Douglas Malloch