Collaboration Blog: Brenda Starwalker

A mid-life crisis brought me to yoga, at age 42.  Maybe it wasn’t as much of a crisis as it was an exploration. I wanted more heart and meaning in my life, my work and my relationships. My children were soon to be on their own. I was leaving a 17 year marriage and beginning another. My corporate career was a drag. So I was asking the ‘Universe” for big change. And I  got it!

While remodeling my ‘new to me’ historic home I had an accident.

In a fall, I broke my twelfth thoracic vertebra clean in half! This turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. No surgery was required, I just needed to be still for a while. Not my style, resting. During my recovery time I received therapeutic massage. Within the next year I became a Licensed Massage Therapist. Thank you Universe!

Even though I had always been active and physically fit this new career required a special strength physically and mentally. That’s when I ‘remembered’ Yoga.

As a child I had watched ‘Lillias Yoga and You’ on our local PBS station. I remembered enjoying being on the floor in front of the television, listening to her calm voice, breathing and stretching with her. I always felt empowered, energized and peaceful afterward.

Then decades later I found myself at a Conference on Conscious Aging. Lillias was one of the presenters. I attended several of her classes and spoke with her about learning more about the practice. She suggested I explore opportunities at the Kripalu Yoga Center in the Berkshires in Lenox, Massachusetts.

And so I did.

I spent 2 wonderful months in a setting unlike anything I had ever experienced.  Hours of yoga practice every day, exquisite lovingly prepared vegetarian food, being with people who also were interested in exploring heart and meaning in their lives, I fell in love with this new way of life.

I haven’t stopped learning since. Turns out that Yoga is a life long practice that deals with skillful living, kindness and compassion to others and our selves.

Now, again decades later, I understand that change is the only constant and our ability to adapt, adjust and accommodate with change is the true gift we receive from our regular practice of Yoga on and off our mats.

And by the way, ‘regular’ practice means that we only do it on the Days We Brush Our Teeth ! ~; )))

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I met Brenda Starwalker while planning Yoga Day in 2014. During this experience I was drawn to her amazing attitude, her dedication to teaching others and couldn’t take my eyes off her aerial yoga demonstration. We are honored that Brenda wants to contribute frequently to our blog. Get ready for monthly installments!

Brenda has been a yoga therapist/massage therapist since 1993. She loves the outdoors, spending time with her grandchildren and exposing the Jacksonville community to yoga!


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