By Evelyn Abruzzo
Yoga meandered into my life as a totally unexpected gift. Did I say “meandered?” It was more like a thunderbolt!
It was 2001. We had just moved to New York after I retired from my position as Assistant Superintendent for Curriclum and Instruction in a Long Island School District. Does the word “retired” give you a clue as to my age? I was a boomer before the boomers.
My first order of business after we got settled in our apartment was to find a nearby gym that offered a “step” class (remember those?) and a toning class. I walked a 3-block radius and found nothing that fit my “stumble out of bed and go to the gym” requirement. But, I did notice a flag waving on a second floor window, right on 3rd avenue, two blocks from my apartment. That flag said Be Yoga and it waved to me, called me in, and I listened.
The desk angel explained all – “your shoes go here, take your valuables with you, do you want the package plan, fill out this form,” etc. I took a Beginner class with an amazing ISHTA teacher who came over and helped me when I didn’t understand the verbal cues. I marveled that she was so strong and yet so graceful and calm. I remember her saying that she was the only one in her family that didn’t have varicose veins. Damn – I said to myself – should have started this years ago – I already had those going on! My one-day pass, turned into a 10-class package and then a 3-month package! Then came a 17-day Intensive 200-hour ISHTA Teacher Training and followed by the 500-hour Program. I had become a Yoga addict! But why? What was it about yoga that drew me in so totally and completely at my age?
The first thing I noticed after just a few classes was that I found myself walking down the street feeling happy for no reason at all. Now what was THAT all about? Was it something about this new way of breathing? Maybe the twisting? Maybe the deep relaxation at the end of class? If that was the result after only 4-5 classes, what else could it do for me? I committed to continuing this remarkable journey.
Fast forward to today. I am an ISHTA yoga teacher and private instructor teaching classes as well as individual instruction. My day is not complete unless I start it with a personal practice. Teaching is the natural outgrowth for me. I teach because I am compelled to share this gift I have been given; because in teaching, I learn; because I love it; and I teach because the more yoga I do the better my life becomes! So, if you think you are too old, or too inflexible, or too anything, just give it up and get started. You are never too old to do yoga. Quite the opposite -you are too old not to do yoga. Through sheer observation and experience I am convinced that the older you are, the more you will benefit from practicing this ancient science. There is a reason why the practice has survived 5000 years. Yoga, if practiced regularly and with intention, will not only improve the quality of your life beyond your wildest dreams, but will slow down and reverse the aging process.
Welcome Boomers, to the wonderful world of Yoga!
Evelyn Abruzzo left the field of educational administration in 2000 and has pursued the study of ISHTA yoga under Yogi Raj Alan Finger. She is passionate about inspiring boomers to pursue this healthy and happy life style. Evelyn has a Doctorate in Education from Hofstra University and is a 500-hour certified yoga teacher and teacher trainer. Evelyn Abruzzo, Ed.D, E-RYT 500 Eabruzzo21@aol.com