In 1982, I received my first instruction in yoga from my 80-year-old interpretive dance instructor, Hedy Tower. Naturally disciplined and with a strong inclination to do what feels good, yoga was a natural to become, as it quickly did, a part of my everyday self-care routine. From 1988 to 1992, when my body was almost totally disabled from scleroderma, my yoga practice went subliminal, becoming part of the very active visualization that helped to save both my spirit and my life.
Once healed – with much help from my second husband, Dodd Pendragon, my oldest friend, Marie Minarik, my beloved daughter, Morgan Grefe, gestalt therapist, Ellen Gayda, Deborah Osborne and the numerous native American shaman and healers she made space for, my mother’s prayer group, Judy Madjecki, Dr. Alain Rook and the staff of the Clinical Research Unit of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania among others – I was able to return to a daily practice that had been made far more challenging by the strictures and limitations of a body that had been radically crippled. I am now able to do poses that I couldn’t do before scleroderma and just this year became able to attain a full lotus pose!
My journey with yoga has been a vibrantly joyful part of my life. I feel strongly that I owe the current flexibility of my body in large part to my ongoing yoga practice – now 4 days a week, alternating with Pilates. The works in the Yogis & Yoginis series are created with the honor and respect due to a practice that brings so much to so many. They grow directly from my experience.
The complete Yogis & Yoginis series can be seen at VictoriaPendragon.artspan.com.