The first time I heard of T2F was almost 2 years ago when i moved back to Karachi and my good friend was telling me about this talk she went to over there. I was intrigued but as fate would have it I never made it to T2F at its original location and instead ended up there last year for the first time to watch a panel discuss “postcolonial” literature.
I went again a few more times for events before a chance conversation at a party that began this whole adventure with T2F. this march, the day I had quit 2 of my yoga commitments I went out at night to a birthday party. There I met someone (who is working on a project related to domestic violence at T2F) and told them the feeling of lightness I had from making the right decision to focus my time on fewer rather than more projects. she said, why don’t you teach yoga at T2F? reluctant to make another commitment of commercial yoga classes…and all the responsibilities that come along with that (marketing, class registration and make up classes UGH…) I said no, its just not what I want to do.
I went home that night and woke up with an idea. amazing. What if I did yoga at T2F once a week, drop in, no registration and a very affordable per class rate, and the money would be for women living in the prison (Where I teach yoga once a week). I called and then emailed Sabeen with my idea, having a very strong feeling that if there would be any place in Karachi where this could work, and that would get “it”, it’s T2F.
Within days, (I LOVE HOW WHEN THE UNIVERSE WANTS SOMETHING TO WORK EVERYTHING FALLS INTO PLACE!) I was teaching my first yoga class at T2F. And now as 2 months come to a close, and I go for a nice 2 month summer break, I realize how much T2F has given me, and how much it gives all of us in Karachi through its good energy, good intent, and its desire to spread love and positivity. And now, very naturally, as if I had always been there, I am part of this beautiful process.
Since April 4th almost every class has been filled to the maximum. The mixed classes have never been so fun. The men are unassuming, respectful, and gracious. the women are of all ages and enthusiastic. the first student that walked through the door on april 4th became an instant friend on a day that I needed one. The T2F staff became part of my weekly family – Baba who takes care of the space and closing the door and lights at the end of class. The other staff who help me with the receipts and make us yummy food and drinks after yoga class. and Marium who has taken up extra responsibilities to organize donations for the children living with their mothers in the prison.
there are little things we all do that create change. that create positivity. and as so many spiritual texts have enlightened me: that in each moment there is the potential to embody presence, grace and gratitude. I see this at T2F. The sense of community and togetherness that T2F has cultivated with time, patience and good intent transfers into the yoga classes, where the energy is electric and palpable. like no other class i teach. really. and i suspect its because its a beautiful circle of service. T2F is serving by offering itself and supporting the cause. its part of my service, and all those who attend class are all contributing time, energy, and money. and the energy we cultivate in the yoga class goes back to the women who need our support, who now know more than perhaps ever before that they are not alone. and ultimately in both the prison and at T2F experiencing yoga is shifting, changing, and touching people’s lives.
I feel butterfly goodness every time i think of what’s happening in this process and it all started with an honest heartfelt conversation. and since then even the yoga at the prison has shifted…the most amazing thing that T2F has given me is the feeling of community, the support, and its allowed me to become more soft and more clear about my intent and my capacity to support the women in the prison. at the prison we have started to pray together and I know their sincere prayers and gratitude reach out to all of us.
So just to update those who have been coming to classes, for those who have donated goods, time and attention, and those who have written checks or given money we have been able to
1) give 100 bottles of roohafza and 1 month worth of hygienic supplies (soap, toothpaste, powder, shampoo) for all the women and children
2) summer clothes for all the kids in the prison
3) weekly popcorn for the kids in the prison
and the practical goods almost hold no comparison to the energetic contribution of all our spirits, even if its just for that 1 breath, that we accept our oneness over our apparent material/physical separation.
thank you all for a beautiful 2 months. Thanks to T2F for making something happen that I believe dreams are made of. and most of all thanks to the source of life, the energy that connects all of us, which for me no one word can describe yet so many refer to:)
come join us when you have a free monday evening – classes will begin again in August – wishing you all a summer of relaxation, rest, and joy:) http://www.t2f.biz/2011/03/?cat=1