Other than modified tree pose, he’s never done yoga.
So HOW could he teach me?
First off, Dad was born in 1929, and he’s got a long list of maladies, any one of which could kill him. Tomorrow.
But he’s pushing himself, living as if he’ll make it to 90.
He also tries new things to improve his body. This means being able to go to the potty more easily. But it’s his goal, and who am I to quibble?
He’s probably in this mess because of medical advice from 50 years ago for his bad back: Rest, avoid exercise, wear a brace, and take pills. He did all that.
Today, doctors would probably recommend continuous exercise, working through pain, and avoiding pills is a better way to live.
However, the most important thing of all that I’ve learnt is incredible.
I was with Dad through all of this latest battle, starting with a broken vertebrae (L2), the ER, Hospice House, then a recovery room, and finally back home. There were two times when nurses told me, this is it. If he’d died, they would have said it was his time.
Except it wasn’t. First off, I was able to be there and help him stave off poor medical practices. Not malpractice, only poor quality. Second, I was there as cheerleader, boosting morale, encouraging his WILL TO LIVE. I gave him traditional football game locker room pep talks.
I could see the young athlete come alive. He was a two-year all state football player in his day. He was ripped.
That’s the key. The will to live.
The greatest yogi of the 20th century was Tirumalai Krishnamacharya. If you do yoga today, he probably invented it. If he didn’t, you can bet your bippy he influenced it.
Many times, the guy who invents something doesn’t get to cash in on the great idea. Same was true for TK. He was dirt poor most of the time. As advertising, he’d put on demonstrations of stopping his heart.
What? Impossible! How?
That’s what we say, knowing modern medicine.
But modern medicine also said my Dad was finished. And then Dad applied his willpower.
That’s what TK did with his heart. Willpower.
Both TK and my Dad have shown me that yoga can help us harness our own willpower as a way to become one with every part of our bodies. Not only the voluntary nervous system, but even the autonomic nervous system that influences our heart. All of it. Our WHOLE body.
And that’s how Dad taught me about my own yoga.
- Push yourself.
- Set your own, small, goals.
- Adhere to it as a better way to live.
- Willpower is an integral part of our practice.
Thanks Dad. Love, your son.