A tribute to a beloved teacher-and witnessing a healing

I was saddened to hear my beloved teacher passed away. She was way too young, by my reckoning; in her mid-40s, or so, making her passing that much more difficult to process.

What caused her demise I don’t know[1]… I can only pray her spirit is returned back to the light from which it came. The stories of her passing will be spoken by the articulate- while the rest of her community will share in grieving.

I sit here writing now awash with tears; I’m sure many others are crying too.

LW as a yoga teacher was one of my favorites. Her sometimes vigorous choreography was fun and challenging while maintaining alignment. (The vigor is what can get us. After all, the practice of yoga[2]. endless challenges and goals of pose perfection, which can lead to striving, rather than unfolding.)

She loved Patanjali- practicing Ahimsa[3] towards everything in life- especially loving bees which was on her bumpersticker. While her physical practice took its toll, her chanting of songs and mantras were really quite wonderful. (It is so rare to have an opportunity to ‘sing’ , let alone in public.)

What this teacher was to me though, was something else altogether. She showed me the effectiveness of hands-on spiritual healing. As part of her healing journey, she too had discovered 12-steps, Reiki, and shamanism- as had I; she was comfortable as if natural using her modalities- much more so than I was with mine.

You see, I had a painful hip that had plagued me for months. It had come on suddenly during the summer after too much walking on a marble surface. I was almost reduced to walking with cane, and had lost much of the strength on my right side and leg. PT and meds were of minimal benefit; my provider told me I had degeneration and would eventually need replacement surgery. After mentioning this to her after class, she offered me her services.

 “Believe nothing, entertain possibility”, got me on her table.

After two treatments my hip pain was gone, or markedly reduced. I could ascend the stairs without listing or struggle. Good thing too, as I was by then living al(l)-one[4]. Frankly it seemed as if almost overnight, though at first I didn’t “feel” anything.

While my ex- might say it was coincidence, how can I really know? It has been two years now, and I’m still relatively ‘pain-free’.

Evidence is evidence, especially when it applies to oneself. Here was a tangible result, I shouldn’t deny. Don’t forget, as a practicing western physician at the time, the idea of spirit healing was pretty new and foreign. To believe in such thing, questions the foundations of what I was doing.

She could also hold space, letting silence. Letting intuition be the guide is different than following algorithms. She helped build my confidence.

Lastly, underneath a sometime harsh exterior[5], she seemed a very gentle person. I could imagine her a member of deer tribe. The beauty in her wasn’t just skin deep, because of course she was beautiful too!

May her spirit rest at peace- I will miss you as I’m sure everyone else will too.

Thank you Thank you, Thank you G-d! for placing her on my path. Amen.


[1] I know she had been some health issues but hadn’t called me about them.

[2] Yoga, as defined by men, presents complete subjugation of our inner body soma. Holding still and in painful or uncomfortable positions especially – when our actual bodies (the mesodermal self, our Psych, wants to move like a candle) is experienced as a form of self-abuse when practiced to extremes –and nothing like letting your breath breathe you.

[3] To practice Ahimsa is to do no harm to another or oneself; harms from words, actions or deeds that extinguish one’s flame of hope or dim another’s path to light.

[4] While being al(l)-one is a state of integrity. Since it doesn’t always feel that way, as being alone can feel lonely- I prefer to reframe it.

[5] I’ll never forget the first time I was in her yoga class. I hadn’t introduced myself probably. At the start of the class she went into a small tirade about how she was a tough teacher- specifically not for beginners, and yadi yadi yah. She really did seem quite bitchy! I almost left.

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