Yoga and the Mind of Mom

My colleague and friend Elizabeth Kadetsky published an absolutely stunning piece in the New York Times this week that made me cry and warmed my heart. Tackling the reality of her mother's Alzheimer's disease, she beautifully weaves the reality of this recent diagnosis into an essay about living in the moment -- yoga style. That's all I'll say. Just read it, please. Here's a teaser:

My sister and I had inklings of a slow atrophying of my mother’s mind, perhaps of her very self, before she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in April, 2008. And yet, strangely, I’d also noticed around that time she’d seemed to be more “herself.” So I felt oddly reassured at the news. The diagnosis seemed to explain something about who my mother was, perhaps who she’d been most of my life. Due to its seeming genetic component, we believed the type to be early-onset. It could have started when I was still a kid.

Yoga citta vritti nirodha — yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of consciousness. This, from PataƱjali’s “Yoga Sutras,” was the first piece of a classical text I memorized when I trained to become a yoga teacher. Perhaps paradoxically, this also seemed to describe what had been happening to my mother.

Thanks Elizabeth.

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Kadetsky


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  2. This was great piece. For those who don't know, she wrote the book "First There Is a Mountain" about spending time training with BKS Iyengar. That book is an eye opener.

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  4. Yes, I should have mentioned she wrote "First There is a Mountain" - great book, indeed. I think I'll add that little tid bit to the post now. Thanks Yoga Dawg!