I’m 27, but my body is 90

“I feel like a 90-year-old in a 27-year-old body.”

My yoga teacher, my sister and I are sitting cross-legged on yoga mats inside the airy yoga studio in Blue Mounds, WI. The windows are open and outside it’s sunny; it’s the first “real” springy day I recall this year. They are facing each other, and I have notebook and G2 in hand waiting for a flash of insight.

My sister (in the photo, she’s the smily one on the left) recounts the past year: chiropractors, cranial sacral specialists, physical therapists, yoga, diet, the two moves that brought her to Los Angeles. She explains, almost unemotionally, the diffusing pain from low back to hips, how it hurt to sneeze and the time her jaw dislocated. What used to be fun for her — volleyball and other sports — just create more pain so she’s stopped nearly all physical activity.

I’m 27, but I feel like a 90-year-old.

Scott Anderson listens, asks questions, has her move into Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 and Triangle, and to engage her abdominal muscles. The dialogue carries on for nearly an hour, Scott opens anatomy books and takes his time explaining and asking, inquiring and waiting.

I write furiously.

At the end of our session, I see my sister smile with something that looks like hope and relief.

For people with chronic pain, hope is a tricky word. Relief is, so often, a fleeing sensation, something dreamed about — hoped for — but believed unattainable.

After her private yoga session with Scott, we walked up and down State Street in Madison. We went swimming, we went to church in the morning and walked around State Street again in the afternoon. I observed my sister putting into practice what Scott had taught her, and today this message…

PS. THANK YOU for the session. I am getting so much relief and calming from cranial sacral and breathing techniques.