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Tianshan and Xuelian Feng

The image of mountains and the lake on my website are incredibly meaningful to me.  My first Chinese professor at the University of Pennsylvania gave me a most beautiful and strong Chinese name.  It was less of a phonetic copy of my English name and more of a destiny decision.  By giving me this name he provided me with an invitation to be more, to see more and to know more than I ever dreamed possible.

My Chinese name, in pinyin is: Feng Xuelian

Xuelian Feng is the highest peak in the Tianshan mountain range in what is now Xinjiang, China.

Xuelian means “snow lotus” and it is an actual flower that grows in this mountain range.  Not the most beautiful flower, as it grows through ice and snow, it is a most tenatious little floral.  

Whenever I meet any adversity in my practice or off my mat, I think of my Chinese name and I know that there’s just about nothing I can’t do.

I hope that you have a teacher who planted this “can do” seed in your heart, but if not, I hope you will come and join me for some yoga.  The inspiration is just waiting for you to arrive!

Posted by Sharon Fennimore Rudyk, who is incredibly grateful to all of her professors at the University of Pennsylvania for their encouragement and for acting with such courage.  I did not realize then how much courage it takes to live your unique genius while, at the same time, sharing everything you have with your students.



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