This year’s winter in Kyoto was extremely cold. I came to visit my daughter and her husband living in Bangkok. When I went to meet them after a yoga class that they have just recently began, they told me that it was fun with such invigorating faces. Instinctively, I said out loud, “I wonder if I could do it?”. I see myself as possessing zero athletic abilities and zero sense of balance. On top of that, in the past twenty years, I have removed a gallbladder and cancer from my left breast, fractured the fourth cervical vertebrae, and broken the base of my right leg’s femur joint. As a result, sharp nerve pains have haunted me. I was coming to terms with the idea that half of my body would not function properly.
As soon as my daughter heard the words, “I wonder if I could do it?”, my daughter asked Master Sanjiv if he could help me and that is how I encountered Satyananda Yoga. He sat me down on a chair and began teaching me the breathing practices and to bring my awareness to every part of my body as I send the breath to those areas. He taught me the importance to examine the well being of different parts of my body through my awareness. I was astonished at how my preconceived notion of yoga was so contrary to his teachings. I began to appreciate the importance of knowing your own body and practicing to improve circulation in my body by the end of my third lesson when I noticed that I was able to effortlessly climb onto my bed.
For several years, I was not able to get into bed without first sitting down. I became embarrassed of my misconceptions that yoga practices consisted only of unattainable headstands and splits. I return to Kyoto today after my private yoga lesson today but will return to Bangkok in May to receive his lessons again.
I look forward to telling my ailing friends back home of the correct message of yoga that would promote health and help us enjoy our senior lives. My family and I are truly grateful to have met Master Sanjiv.