That goofy old hippie in her goofy old leotard


“Then that goofy old hippie in her goofy old leotard came over and pressed one hand gently on my hip and another on my shoulder to open that twist up just a tiny bit more…and I burst into tears.

Please understand—I don’t just mean that I salted up a bit or sniffled some; I mean that I started weeping, audibly.

As I lay there crying and twisting open,

full of longing,

full of prayer,

full of doubt,

full of the wish to be a better human being,

full of the daring plea to become the first person in my family’s history whose back would not ache every single day,

full of the sudden and shocking realization that there was a different kind of intelligence in this life, and it could come to us only through the body…well, I didn’t know the word for any of this stuff back then, but I have since learned that I was filling my lungs and heart with a little something folks in the yoga business call shakti.

This yoga stuff was not just a possible solution to lifelong back pain, but a revelation. A homecoming. A felt a sense of being one with the energetic undercurrent of the universe.


-Elizabeth Gilbert

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