A Joyful Practice for 55+

joytapperI have just returned from a month long teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. Why at 72 years of age would I put myself through such an intense and physically exhausting experience? Well the question really is “How could I not?”

I came to the yoga mat at 70. As I learned to connect my mind, body and spirit a miracle occurred. The bulimia that had been my constant companion for 55 years, the eating disorder that had seen me hospitalized 3 times in my life, that ruined my teeth and my self esteem disappeared!! This shameful addiction ruled me no more…I was free. I learned to love my body and brought myself to the yoga mat over and over to continue to breathe life into my spirit.

Now as I am in my 72nd year I am driven to share the knowledge with as many people as I can that this beautiful journey we call life is not over until it is over. We live every day fully until we just don’t any more. I focus on the belief that every day is new and filled with love. I am filled with passion and driven to create a class for those of us aging gracefully. I trained in the Kripalu method. Kripalu means compassion and teaches that indeed life is infinite eternal and whole.

I would like to share a story; a story that has led me here. On my 65th birthday I walked in the 3 Day 60 mile Breast Cancer Walk and was in peak physical condition. A few months later I traveled to my son’s house to help care for a new born grandchild. I slipped, fell and broke my patella. Through a very strange set of circumstances I would up with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and was placed on a ventilator with a 40% chance of survival. When I awoke from the ventilator I knew with great certainty that there is no death and that there is only love. An enveloping love had surrounded me. I knew…I knew that life is infinite eternal and whole.

At Kripalu this message was brought home. I am blessed to be a yoga teacher. I am blessed to have found this passion at this stage of my life. The asanas of yoga are a tool. The asanas have helped heal my body and spirit and I am driven to share with as many as I can.