Although not started until nearly a decade after Parkinson’s diagnosis, hot yoga has been a mainstay in my fight with the disease for control of mind, body, and soul. Last week saw the tenth anniversary of Chrysalis Hot Yoga, a comfortable place with authentic people that rides high in my heart.
Over the last nine years, I have dedicated to the studio as much as six days a week to as little as a single weekly session, depending on surgeries and my motivation as Parkinson’s progression accelerates every year. If charted, my progress would show an irregular capability pattern of numerous comebacks with one glaring trend: a continuous loss of yoga ability since 2017.
It is funny in a twisted-lens-of-time way, ushering in humble insecurity, knowing I can perform fewer yoga poses now than when I started. Still, it is immeasurably appropriate as it reminds me—often painfully—that I am ultimately not my body.
Without fear of exaggeration, Chrysalis Yoga saved my life—maybe to allow for the infliction of more significant pain; I appreciate the irony—but it rescued me, nonetheless. Owner Carol Sele and her instructors have been professional, committed, and caring over the years, ensuring a communion of all souls present.
So why did I find myself wiping away tears for the two hours of anniversary celebration last Sunday? While not tears of joy, the loss of control to the room’s energy was definitely on the positive side of the ledger, yet I can make no headway describing it further. I can only conclude that the sensation of unexpected emotion resulted from an empathic screenshot of the contradictory feelings coursing through the room.
Carol, my friend, thank you for keeping the studio open during the pandemic and other difficult times. Your sacrifice has made a real difference in my life.
Here’s to another ten! Love you, Carol. You are a gem.