Learn the history behind our name, and meet our instructors.
THE STORY OF DERVISH HATIXHE
Hatixhe Skenderi is the one of the first of the few women in the world to be honored with the title Dervish for her dedicated service to humanity during the bubonic plague of 1738-1740 in the Balkans. She helped to save lives, even turning her home to a hospital and her properties into a cemetery. People saw her as a person sent by God to save them during those difficult times.
After her death, as her tomb quickly became a site of pilgrimage, and a Tekke hosting her tomb was built in her home in Tirana, Albania. Her selfless actions had such an impact, that people continue to believe that her soul protects them.
In 1969, the communist regime closed all of the religious places in Albania. It was said that the government was going to remove the tomb of Dervish Hatixhe and rebury her in the cemetery of Tirana.
In an attempt to protect her tomb and The Tekke of Dervish Hatixhe, Sultana and Rame Skenderi (Dervishi), the family members in charge of Dervish Hatixhe at the time, installed thick concrete floors over the tombs and declared that they had closed the Tekke of Dervish Hatixhe as per the government instructions. At this point, the government took control of most parts of the Tekke and turned it to one of its own offices, though the tombs remained untouched.
Meanwhile, Sultana and later the wife of her son, Rukije, kept welcoming pilgrims and believers in secrecy during the years of communism. The dedication of both of these women kept the Tekke of Dervish Hatixhe open during the communist regime to help people find inner peace. They rendered a great service to the community by putting themselves and their families at risk. At any time, they could have been jailed and killed by the communist government, while their families would have been sent to deportation camps.
Innal laaha laa jughaijiru maa biqaumin hattaa jughaijiroo maa bianfusihim.
The change of surrounding circumstances comes from within.
Ndryshimi i rrethanave perreth vjen nga ndryshimi I brendshem.
In 1992, while communism had fallen but the times were still dark, Rukije courageously opened the Tekke of Dervish Hatixhe to the public and kept serving in this spiritual place with devotion and dedication. Finally, people were free to honor their spirituality and connect with the soul of Dervish Hatixhe by visiting her tomb without fear.
The Tekke of Dervish Hatixhe is a place of pure spirituality where people of all religions and all walks of life come to find inner peace.
Generation after generation, the tradition of the Dervish Hatixhe has empowered women. Through centuries, the history of the women of this family has shown that women are a powerful force of the society, who can shed the bright light in our darkest places and times.
The Dervish Hatixhe Yoga Center is being established in 2020, during the Coronavirus pandemic, to serve humanity in the path of the light of Dervish Hatixhe and all other courageous women of all times.
We would like to express appreciation for the people who are on the front lines, doctors, nurses, scientists, social workers, teachers, etc, fighting the virus. We have a deep appreciation for everyone contributing with kindness and mindfulness to prevent the spread of the virus through these difficult times.
Meet Our Instructors
Eva Peza is a Geologist – Earth Modeler. She holds an engineering degree in Geology and two Masters in Geology and Petroleum Geosciences. Currently she is working on her PHD thesis “The Earth Modeling of Ordovician Formation in Saudi Arabia”. She is a certified hypnotherapist and a Reiki Master level II. As a Yogi, she comes from an ashtanga background with a passion for spirituality, awareness expansion, and energetic practices. She offers a broad spectrum of classes from hypnotic meditation for stress release to vinyasa flow to build body strength and flexibility by connecting movement with breath.
She began practicing yoga in 2004 and has since taught yoga in different places around the world. She earned her 200 yoga teacher training certificate from Ashtanga Studio in Norman, Oklahoma. She has attended a myriad of yoga classes and workshops from various renowned teachers in the world.
Currently, she is continuing her education with Noah Maze and Christina Sell. Yoga has been a very important component of Eva’s life since her first practice. Through yoga she has become grounded in inner peace, which has inspired her to learn more and become a better person off of the mat.
Kelly Grace has been a teacher and educator for nearly two decades and has a Phd in Comparative and International Education and has been a teacher, educator and education researcher for nearly two decades. With a background in the Anusara lineage, her expertise centers around pose knowledge, alignment, sequencing and clarity in language for actionable and engaged poses. Kelly’s classes aim to provide an accessible and challenging practice to develop students’ self-awareness and connection to their inner wisdom by developing their strength, flexibility and connection to the breath.
Kelly began practicing yoga in 2007 in Los Angeles, California with internationally renowned yoga instructors, with Noah Maze and Christina Sell as her primary teachers. In 2009, she earned her 200-hour teacher training certificate in Houston, Texas and in 2011 she was licensed as an Anusara-Inspired teacher.
Since then she has taken countless teacher trainings and workshops to feed her passion for deep and thoughtful approaches to teaching and practicing yoga. She is a 200 hour ERYT instructor through Yoga Alliance and currently is participating in a 300-hour advanced teacher training with Noah Maze to fulfill her 500 hour ERYT Yoga Alliance status requirements.