As the Yogi Said …

As the Yogi Said …

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I took my first yoga class in 1975. Yoga was far from mainstream then. In fact, my Catholic parish priest rather frowned upon it, considering it a religious practice of another faith.

My first yogi was an 80-year old man from India with a multisyllabic name I had difficulty pronouncing. He claimed to have practiced at least an hour of yoga every day of his life from the time he was 3 years old. As wise as he was limber, he ended every class with his signature words, “You are as young as your back is flexible.” Although I long ago forgot the poses he taught, his words have remained etched in my brain. When I was 30 years old, his wisdom meant little to me. When my symptoms worsened, my yoga practice became less and less frequent. I convinced myself that if I was hurting, yoga would only make it worse. After moving across the country, I attended a class here and there — still suspecting my condition to be worsened, rather than helped, by doing yoga. Fast-forward to last summer, when the pain from a pinched nerve in my back became excruciating and proved resistant to every treatment I tried. Desperate for relief, I consulted with a very skillful physical therapist who also happ
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