Yoga Diary: Tree of Life

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In the past five years, I have seen some wonderful changes in my body and mind. My daughter calls me "buff." My

golf game has improved dramatically. I romp freely with my grandchildren. My mental attitude has transformed,

from hard-nosed and militaristic to what I think of as a more accepting kind of perfectionism. I find that my

zest for life has been renewed.

Five years after I retired from the Air Force and four months before my 60th birthday, I joined a group of

colleagues at a yoga studio after work. It was a Bikram Yoga class, and my first thought was, "Vietnam was hot.

This is hell." But I returned the next day, as much because I hated the idea of quitting as because I was

intrigued by the ideas expressed by the teacher. I stayed with it and never sweated so much while learning so

deeply about myself.

Bikram Yoga was a good start, but I wanted a more inclusive approach. Thus began a search. Vinyasa proved to be

interesting and challenging, because the flow was like dancing. Power Yoga almost killed me, so I left that to

the 20-somethings. In Forrest Yoga classes, I discovered a fear of flying (in Handstand, of course). Finally, in

Anusara Yoga I found a home. In July, I celebrated my 65th birthday, and I practice with a Level II-III Anusara

class, filling in with an almost daily personal practice and classes at a recreation center near my home. I plan

to start my teacher training later this year. Today, better aligned and speaking a soft, new language, I tell my

friends and colleagues that one is never too old to begin a yoga practice.

See related article in wisdom: Ready When you Are.

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