Dr. Wally Burnstein passed away on April 11, 1996. He’s been gone for 15 years but the profound affect he has on the people around him will last their entire lifetime. He was a courageous and fearless warrior who spoke for those who could not speak, but also spoke for those who would not speak. He
One warm day, two years after her disappearance, Netty showed up on my doorstep. I handed her the keys to my huge, gas guzzling Chevy Malibu and flew off to the Caribbean islands as she drove north to Ohio.
It was now the mid ’80’s, there was the burgeoning gym life, Jane Fonda was everywhere, and the waft of some mysterious yoga practice was emanating from California to our eastern shores. During all of this I found myself losing perspective. One day I noticed that I was pretending to know what I was doing. It wasn’t intentional, because I had placed myself, no, allowed myself to be placed in the position of teacher. I was therefore being treated like I knew what I was talking about and the next thing I knew I believed it myself.
To create a peaceful family requires patience and tolerance mixed with a good dose of love, generosity and a sense of humor. Not necessarily an easy combination to maintain when the individuals are your brothers, sisters, and parents come together for the holidays. Why is it so difficult to get along with each other?
I had no idea that choosing the path of yoga (or was it that yoga chose me?), would alienate me from my family more severely than if I had moved to a foreign country. In 1983 the Born Again Christian movement was in full swing and my parents had embraced it with full and sincere hearts.
Six years were to pass before my next yoga class. Long years of study, practice, and experiment in theatre, dance and design. By this time I had moved between Continents living in Europe, traveling through Africa, South America and doing time in New York City. I had pushed my mind and body into a dark and depressing place with no idea how to extricate myself.
Stepping onto the eight limb path of yoga reveals more that one might expect as we confront the self and our mental afflictions.