There are so many people around the world whose lives have been changed through yoga. Here are just a few that were personally meaningful to me.
Frank White is 76 in this picture and in an incredible balance pose. He was honored as Yoga Teacher of the Year in 1993.
These are his words:
I am in better shape now than when I was 40. I can move better. I’m more flexible. I’m stronger, with more stamina. Yoga absolutely not only retards, but reverses the aging process.
I was in my 66th year of life, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Stiffness and pain in my spine, legs and joints were keeping me from doing all the wonderful things that my body was capable of doing as a younger person. Something was gradually taking away my freedom of movement.
The doctors called it “severe degenerative osteoarthritis” – a very fancy name for a crippling disease. I just called it “plain misery.” Depressed and anxious, the spark and zest for life that I once had were rapidly diminishing.
I had been under the care of a cardiologist for about 15 years for hypertensive cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure) and arteriosclerosis. I took medication daily. Not a pleasant way to spend the autumn and winter years of my life.
Somehow I found myself in a yoga class. Not only did I know that I was home, but I realized that a miraculous, almost magical transformation was possible. When I finished the class I was weeping. Something released inside my body that said, “YES!”
From that day until the present – and I am not 76 years old – I have been doing yoga on a daily basis. I became a vegetarian and, as my life transformed, so did my health. I lost 50 pounds. My blood pressure returned to normal without medication. My cholesterol dropped from 400 to 150.
I became a yoga instructor and am devoting my life to teaching this ancient healing art to everyone. I now teach about 12 to 15 classes a week, to people of all ages: youngsters and senior citizens, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back problems, etc.
The physical benefits of yoga are indeed remarkable. People who are young stay younger longer, older people become younger. To see this happening before my very eyes is a joy to behold.
I am no longer using any medication for past physical problems. Arthritis no longer holds fear in me: arteriosclerosis is no longer a threat. My flexibility for a man of my years is, I believe, remarkable. I can glide through a vigorous yoga class. My whole life has changed. I function more and more as I did when I was a much younger person.
Excerpt and image from The New Yoga for People Over 50: A Comprehensive Guide for Midlife & Older Beginners, By Suza Francina. City: Health Communications, Inc. 1997
When American paratrooper Arthur Boorman returned home injured from the Gulf War, doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. One too many jumps led to chronic back and knee problems making his military workout a thing of the past. For 15 years, Boorman believed them. Consequently, his weight ballooned to 297 lbs.
But, at 47 years old, the disheartened veteran discovered yoga in a newspaper article. As demonstrated in this incredible YouTube video, the non-impact practice helped Boorman shed 140 lbs in 10 months.
Yoga isn't just an excellent weight-loss therapy for troops returning home injured. According to CareForVets.org, yoga is also being used to help treat post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among war veterans who've served in Afghanistan and in Iraq.
Text based on an article by Tara Kelly in the Huffington Post.
The Yoga Diaries
The Yoga Diaries is a website dedicated to peoples’ life changing stories through yoga.
Here just a few of the stories that moved me:
Check out http://theyogadiaries.net to view so many more.