Betty Feldman

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In 2009, I suffered a virus that attacked my spinal column and disrupted the transfer of energy from my brain to my muscles. I was devastated and worst of all, I had to give up my 19 year old horse trained to Intermediate 1. I could not get my saddle on her so I had to give up riding completely.

After two years of rehab and intense electric stimulation I began a Vinyasa class at Yoga Shala to see if I could regain my balance and breath. It all seemed to work and in a few months, I stumbled into Ana's class in Ashtanga yoga.

At first, I was out of breath and tired after only a 30 minute session, but Ana urged me to keep trying and do it everyday. I went between Vinyasa and Ashtanga for months not gaining as much ground as I wanted and finally Ana told me that I must stay with Ashtanga everyday and to come in to the Mysore class on a daily basis and that she would work with me. She kept saying, "Practice, practice and all is coming."

I practiced everyday and began to understand the alignment and strategy that was required to get to the next pose. The breath, was the most important part of feeling the release that keeps you coming back day after day. During this time, my oldest daughter was home for the summer after getting her doctorate and she helped me get to class everyday and to push just a little harder each time.

In 2015, I wanted to learn more about the complete practice so I took the teacher training. It was great information and even though I had no intention of teaching it gave me a bigger picture of what yoga was all about. November 4, my youngest daughter had a ruptured aneurysm and I found myself in the ICU for 24 days as she recovered from brain surgery. The yoga kept me going, I would practice in the back of the waiting room when she was asleep and watch over her when she was awake. I would have had a very difficult time if not for the practice taken on a daily basis.

The best part of this journey is that I have returned to riding and now have a horse to train. I know so much more about my body that I am able to communicate with my horse with just the tip of a sit bone. My body is stronger and more in tune than it has ever been and my mind is clear and ready to practice great patience with my young horse.

I realize that I am blessed to have found Ana and taken this journey. I will be 70 this year and my body is strong and stable, my mind is open and clear and I feel ageless. My soul is filled with joy and thankfulness.