A brief autobiography that lands in Svaroopa®
April 2006 was a pivot point. After years of doing a high functioning dance with alcohol, I called it quits. In the vacuum left by the departure of drink, I had the time to investigate yoga—again. In 1976, I had a brief but intense introduction to yoga practices; the effects rippled through my life for years; coming back to yoga was like finding a long-lost friend.
Soon after I started practicing again, yoga called on me to expand my understanding of its practices. I started enrolling in teacher trainings and participating in workshops, retreats, and immersions, and practiced regularly with a several wonderful teachers.
When I resumed a life with yoga, I was in my mid-50s. By the time I reached mid-60s, I had come to accept the reality that poses----in any of the several styles of yoga that I had learned---were frequently frustrating, often limited by pain, and not often enough a source for ease. I almost entirely stopped going to public classes. I turned inward and created my own daily home practice, cobbling together the asanas from teacher trainings that still worked for me, ideas from Feldenkrais about awareness through movement, what I had learned about the Subtle Body and practices from Tantric pranayama and mantra, and from Kundalini and Yin yoga.
As I cultivated my home practice, my body awareness evolved, and my intuition became more attuned. After I retired from lawyering, I took the opportunity to attend a months-long advanced yoga training where I sampled yoga from a number of well-followed teachers who were new to me. My body tolerated and I learned from some of these approaches to yoga, but most were not doable.
Then I found a system of yoga that truly suited me—Svaroopa®. It was a logical extension of where my own practice had travelled and complemented what I had learned from the new teachers.
For me, the attraction to Svaroopa® was immediate and powerful. It took me back to my early experiences with yoga when asanas were opening, quieting, peaceful, and full of ease. A short while later, a daily home practice came to me easily, and my life started changing in very positive ways. My chronic low-back pain resolved. Epidural injections were no longer necessary to manage the pain. Other things---injuries, misalignments and imbalances---started healing in noticeable ways. These were the nagging kind of limitations that accumulate over decades, the kind that change you but aren’t disabling, the kind you thought you just had to live with---all of these began to move toward healthier functioning. After I was immersed in Svaroopa®, I had replacement surgery that was partially successful in restoring shoulder function; Svaroopa® has helped heal what surgery couldn’t fix.
These physical improvements have been and continue to be significant and welcomed, but the more profound change is how contentment has become a much larger part of my life experience.
Svaroopa® is beneficial for all ages and conditions but is especially helpful for older yogis and for yogis living with chronic pain who think yoga is beyond their capacity. It is equally helpful at any age for yogis looking to enhance their body awareness and for people who have little familiarity with yoga but are interested in a calming experience and an activity that is rejuvenating.
The training available in Svaroopa® is extensive and I am in the midst of that journey but the asanas I have been certified to teach are more than enough for cultivating a yoga practice that will change lives.
I love teaching Svaroopa® .