This year to celebrate the coming New Year, I organized a special yoga camp for the first time. For four nights and five days, we were in Pastoral Valley in Fethiye. The first two days of the camp, it was a little bit rainy, so that’s why we stayed in the Valley by the wood stoves, with our warm teas, and we spent time with calm talks. We ate avocados and oranges that we picked from the trees. We had small walks around. Since the weather was better and clear the last two days, we found ourselves in Ölüdeniz and then Kayaköy, enjoying the sea and swimming. I will write about Kayaköy another time, because I want to concentrate on the sea right now.

We were the only people on Ölüdeniz beach, which is always too crowded during summer. At midday 12 o’clock, the weather was warm like a summer afternoon. As it is “Ölüdeniz,” there was no wind at all. The sea was cold, but not as cold as the stream coming from Mount Ida at Hizir Camp in May. While we were walking on the seaside to find the least windy part of Ölüdeniz, I looked back and saw Esra with her snow coat and boots, and in her bikini. In the front, I saw Açelya, who had thrown off her coat, swimming towards the open sea. I followed her right away and after about 5 minutes we were all in the sea. We warmed up by swimming. After swimming towards the open sea for a while, we screamed in the empty bay, and it felt great. Our voices echoed, bouncing back from the hills under the sun. I thought at that moment, that I had never enjoyed the sea that much for a long time, although I have always been in love with it. My world changed as soon as I jumped into the sea, and I felt I was born again.

We stayed in the sea for about 40 minutes. After getting out , we had a rest, and until the sunset, we did yoga on the empty beach. After yoga, we put on our coats and enjoyed our fruit. We asked a Slovene friend, who happened to be passing by, to take a photo of us on the beach. Then, we went to Kayaköy. As I mentioned before, I will write about Kayaköy later.

I want to write about the Advaita philosophy that came to my mind as soon as I got into the sea. Dvaita, in Sanskrit, means duality. Advaita means “not dualist”. In Advaita philosophy, in order to explain the unity of existence, waves are used. As you know, wave is the name of a movement. Waves are always in a continuous movement. The water, which seems calm now, can turn into a tsunami – and a tsunami can later turn into calm water. From a superficial and a dualist perspective, waves might look separate from each other, but in fact, they are all connected. Waves which look separate and always shape-changing, are indeed the same, when we look at their origin; they are all made of water.

This characteristic of waves is valid for all life forms. Like the waves, we humans look separate on the surface, but actually we are all connected to each other. We are continuously changing shape with different velocities, sometimes we are strong, and sometimes fragile. If we look deep inside, we have the same origin. We are all parts of the same sea, I mean we are each a piece of the whole. While I was enjoying the sea with my friends during the camp, this again passed through my mind. Right after, I started to share this in my yoga lessons with joy.

To sum up, we had a great New Year’s Eve camp all together. These are the only things we did in the afternoon of December 31. Our masquerade in the evening with chestnuts and wine and our dances, was also great.

We, a bunch of people who look different and separate said goodbye to 2013 with all the sadness and happiness it had brought to us, being aware that all sadness and happiness are pieces of the same sea. And we welcomed 2014, all together, open to everything it is going to bring us.

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