by Dr. Kathy Shafer
After leaving New York City in 1988 to pursue my PhD, I started running to train for the NYC Marathon, as I wanted to cross the finish line the same year I got my PhD. Unfortunately, while training for the event, I got hit by a drunk driver and was told I would never walk or run again. Although I defied the odds and ran the Marathon three times, my back went out and I was told I needed back surgery. However, the second opinion I received directed me to yoga and soon discovered it was a gateway to healing. I never had that surgery and have been doing yoga ever since. Soon thereafter, I discovered LifeForce Yoga and became a LifeForce Yoga Practitioner.
In 2014, I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. When I completed chemo and radiation treatment, Amy Weintraub and LifeForce Yoga Practitioner Sue Tebb, raised funds and sent me to Pancha Karma, a detox for cancer survivors in India. I returned in 2018 to further expand my knowledge of yoga and yoga nidra.
The discovery of yoga, along with the power of mind-body healing, has become a vital part of my daily life and an integral part of my practice as a psychotherapist and LifeForce Yoga practitioner. LifeForce Yoga has helped me cope with several traumas, body image, and confidence issues. Not only did it get me back on the mat, but it also inspired me to go out and teach yoga again.
At my yoga center and private practice, Limitless Potentials, I incorporate the use of sound (mantra, singing, chanting), movement (asana), imagery (bhavana), and intention (sankalpa) to assist clients in mood management, anxiety, trauma, addiction, depression and daily self-care. I even created a YogaFUN program to help clients learn the healing benefits of yoga without
having to worry about performing complex yoga poses. If you can breathe, you can do yoga!
My favorite pose is Goddess Pose which involves sound, breathing, and movement and my favorite practice is Yoga Nidra. I also teach a monthly Yoga Nidra Chakra class where I guide students through steps to reach a meditative state. Practicing Yoga Nidra, even for just 20 minutes, is akin to getting 3 hours of sleep. Pretty amazing, especially when all you have to do
is lie there and be present. Namaste