Letter to my friend and student Thora.
So many beautiful moments belong to you. If I handed out stars to my yoga students. They would all be yours. Five ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️for:
Courage. Discipline. Overcoming obstacles. Positive attitude. Showing up. Not giving up.
I miss you.
I remember the very first time you came to my studio. You had signed up for a private yoga lesson. The first thing you had mentioned on the phone was your age.
“I am 82 years old. Can you teach me yoga?
“I have taught my mother”, I said. “And she had Parkinson”, I encouraged you.
You told me you felt a lack of balance. Bending down to tie your shoes had become difficult. This was not something you would simply accept!
You not only became my oldest yoga student. You became the student I admired for showing up no matter what. You were always curious to learn. A student with a burning desire to make old age worth living.
Thora, you are the student I mention when people tell me all about their “why nots”. They all fall short of what I tell them about you and your “why”. Why you included yoga into your life.
“Because it works”, you would say.
And let me add here: “Because you showed up!”
🔮I invite you to look down tomorrow.
9 am Pacific Time.
Zoom in over Santa Rosa, CA.
I am teaching a summer experience to four young people. Things have not been easy for them. I am teaching them everything I shared with you.
Sarina is one of them. Thora, she is 26 years old now. I dearly remember your interest in her. I finally found what I was searching for. A new campus is opening it’s doors in the Fall. Created by parents like us. Movement and doing Yoga is part of the deal. It’s goal is to transition young adults into independence. So they too can live the life of their dreams. Can you see me smile?
And guess what?
We are using your balance beam*! Lynn donated it to the new school. Every time we move it out onto the lawn, I want to give that beam a hug. Each time you are there with me.
So, come over tomorrow. Tell me what you think! I make sure I see your smile.
Salute to you! You practiced yoga into your 90s. You did not give up.
Love you as much as I miss you.
My dear friend Thora.
Thora left this world in May of 2017.
When I saw her challenges with balance I knew what to do. She needed to practice on the beam. I learned it all from my daughter. Being born premature she presented me with opportunities to find new ways on how we do what we do. Like how to walk when walking did not occur on it’s own.
I learned how to do things in a different way. I asked my carpenter friend James to make me a beam. It needed to be a little wider and low to the ground. Sarina walked this beam every day of her early years. She did yoga on the beam. We had picnics on the beam. Anything to help her balance – until she side eyed me. 😏
When I met Thora I brought the beam out of its shadow. It was such a winner again. A few weeks after we started to practice on it, she brought her carpenter with her. She too wanted a beam at home. Can you see her commitment? The beam is not just something to walk on. On the beam you learn to be present: walk tall, focus, trust, be patience. One step at a time. And breathe! On and off the beam. Thora mastered all of this!
If you read this far and yoga is not in your life. Look at your why’s.