Yesterday I wrote about getting back into yoga, so I thought today I’d share some of my first yogic experiences. The first yoga practitioners I ever knew were counselors at my summer camp. You know the thin, perfectly groomed women who wear $90 lululemon yoga pants and drive huge luxury SUVs? These girls were the antithesis of those women. What I remember most about them was that they were vegetarians who didn’t shave their armpits. It was the 70s. Enough said.
My next encounter with yoga was finding “Yoga, Youth and Reincarnation” on the shelves of my middle school library. Dated by then, the book was about a reporter’s experience living the hippy dream life with a yogi in Concord, Massachusetts (Just like Henry David Thoreau!) and her much younger astrologer husband. Here’s what I remember most about that book: The astrologer husband was talking about the presidential “20 year curse.” Ever since William Henry Harrison, elected in 1840, died in office, all the presidents elected in the following twenty year intervals had also died in office, the last being the Kennedy assassination. Kennedy, of course, was elected in 1960. In the book, written in the late 60s (and read by me about 10 years later) the astrologer said that the stars told him that the president elected in 1980 would not die in office, but would instead survive a traumatic event. Which, you may recall if you are old enough to remember, indeed came to pass when John Hinkley shot Ronald Reagan to impress Jody Foster in 1981. So that’s my early introduction to yoga – not at all like its 21st century incarnation.