Hridaya Yoga Newsletter
Embodying the Teachings in the Local Community
Two years ago, we at Hridaya Yoga Mexico had the aspiration to create a plan to touch the hearts of everyone in our vicinity—our staff, our students, and the members of our beautiful local community. We sought to embody the Hridaya teachings while fostering a trusting relationship with all those who call our little stretch of the Pacific coast home. This vision has already led to numerous exciting projects and interactions, and we are truly overjoyed to share more about them with you now:
- We bring the teachings of the Heart to local schools. Our Heart-based workshops are being shared in 4 schools, touching approximately 175 children each week.
- We share weekly English, literacy, and yoga classes at the local library.
- We’ve created several community programs based on local needs.
- We’ve launched crowdfunding programs, inviting our global sangha to contribute to the state of Oaxaca.
- We connect our students with local service projects. Every month, our school community dives into selfless service in the Mazunte/San Agustinillo area. From building retention walls and compost heaps to clearing invasive plant species, from planting trees to cleaning the homes of the elderly to translating restaurant menus into English, our students are actively supporting the community while sharing the joy of Karma Yoga.
- We have recently partnered with Piña Palmera. We look forward to a fruitful relationship with this inspiring organization in Zipolite that serves children and adults with special needs.
As we continue to grow as a school, so too will our impact on the surrounding towns and the local community. Our Community Development Department aims to ensure that this impact remains positive and full of Love. Thank you for your continued interest and support!
Sharing the Heart with Children
Our work in the local schools touches toddlers to teenagers through the Educando el corazón (“Educating the Heart”) program:
- Kindergarten: We teach children ages 3-6 the special beauty of living from a place of love, and calm and give them tools to do so.
- Elementary School: The local primary school has 1 room, 1 teacher, and 38 students ages 6-12! At this level, we explore the “Superpowers of the Heart,” such as tolerance, honesty, and perseverance. We also help students who are in need of tutoring or emotional support.
- Middle School: Educando el corazón is now an official part of the curriculum of San Agustinillo Middle School! Here, we share yoga and meditation and explore how to live with an Open Heart, how the Heart can guide us, healthy ways to process emotions, and key concepts such as solidarity, self-knowing, and self-love.
- We also support students’ English progress by organizing practice groups with Hridaya students and staff.
To learn more about Educando el corazón, click here.
Respecting the Local Culture
By simply being informed and aware of local culture, we can create a sense of unity and understanding. We can also avoid behavior that may be seen as disrespectful or rude. It’s a good practice to contemplate how you can incorporate this understanding into your actions when visiting us in Mexico.
Did You Know?
- In small towns like Mazunte, San Agustinillo, and Zipolite, if a local elder greets you, it’s rude not to greet back—even if you’re in silence.
- While Zipolite is a nudist beach, in Mazunte and San Agustinillo nudity is prohibited and the community is particularly sensitive to this matter. If you yearn for a naturalist beach experience, please visit Zipolite on your day off.
- Tips are expected when eating out and should be between 10% and 15%. They are a significant part of the server’s income.
- When someone is eating, it’s polite to say “buen provecho.” If someone says this to you, you can answer with “igualmente” (if they are eating as well) or, simply, “gracias.”
- It is not unusual for someone to arrive 15 minutes late for a meeting. Instead of being reactive to this, try to witness any feelings of frustration.
- People greet with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Avoiding this is considered rude.
Is your enthusiasm kindled from hearing about all these exciting projects? Well, we are looking for a new Community Liaison, to start as soon as possible. You can read all about the role here. We also have a Karma Yoga position in the Community Development Department available and would love to have you on board.
If you’re unable to make a lengthy commitment, you can still support a myriad of smaller projects. Upon arrival in Mazunte, ask to be connected with the Community Development Department so we can inform you of current needs. You are warmly invited to join our language and culture exchanges at the local middle school, participate in Seva Day projects, and attend “Discovering Mexico’s Mazunte,” a talk given every month about the history and socioeconomics of the area. Additionally, do you have special painting, music, graphic design, or translation skills? We can help you help the community.
Finally, we’ll soon be launching a community page on the Hridaya Yoga website. It will be the place to go to stay up-to-date on our activities and learn how to be involved. We’re always interested in your ideas and feedback, so feel free to contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.