Over the years, during the month of July, Jonathan and I would make it a priority to receive a hug from Amma and soak in her warm, peaceful, radiant energy. Amma is known as the hugging saint. She travels the world spreading her message of love through hugs and Dharma talks. The last time, though, that we were able to be in her presence was in 2012 when Maddie was only months old. She too received Amma’s warm, loving embrace.
“When Amma embraces people, it is not just physical contact that is taking place. The love Amma feels for all of creation flows toward each person who comes to Her. That pure vibration of love purifies people, and this helps them in their inner awakening and spiritual growth.
Both men and women of today’s world need to awaken to motherly qualities. Amma’s hugs are to help people become aware of this universal need.
Love is the only language that every living being can understand. It is universal. Love, peace, meditation, and moksha (liberation) are all universal.” Excerpted from From Amma’s Heart, translated and written by Swami Amritaswarupananda
With our move to Western Massachusetts making us 2-3 hours away from Amma’s tour sites, we haven’t been able to receive her blessings. But nonetheless, I carry her and the feelings she awoke within me in my heart.
I realized over the last year, while I can’t receive Amma’s offerings, at the very least I can create an offering with her, in part, as my inspiration. The other part of my inspiration, of course, is my dear sweet Maddie Rose, now 3 years old!
Last summer Maddie Rose was diagnosed with Ectodermal Dysplasia. Ectodermal Dysplasia is a group of genetic disorders causing the hair, teeth, nails and glands to develop and function abnormally. While there is no cure for these disorders, there are treatments available to help with the symptoms. Since I’ve always raised money for various organizations over the years by offering donation-based yoga classes, I decided to put my energy into raising money for the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasia (NFED) by offering “pop-up” donation-based yoga classes throughout the Pioneer Valley.
Raising money and awareness for the NFED not only allows for treatments to remain available to folks affected by Ectodermal Dysplasia, but also allows for research to continue on how to treat people with Ectodermal Dysplasia and how to ultimately prevent it. While Maddie’s symptoms are mild, she is beginning to become aware that she doesn’t have pony tails like her friends because of her sparse hair, and that her nails are brittle and break all the time, and that her teeth don’t look like mine – hers are cone-shaped.
As a parent, I intend to do everything I can to make treatments available to her to improve the quality of her life. As a yoga teacher, in the spirit of service, I’m offering donation-based Pop-Up yoga classes throughout the Pioneer Valley this summer to fund the NFED. Many people, including Maddie’s doctors, have never heard of Ectodermal Dysplasia, so I feel that it is imperative to educate people about this disorder as well as to raise money to help fund the support the NFED provides to families like mine.
So dear friends, if you are around the Northampton area this summer, please pop in for Pop-Up Yoga and help support the NFED. I would LOVE to share class with you!
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