In the spring of 2017 I was introduced to Yogi Patty by her dear friend Yogi Arline, who had been practicing with me for 2 years. Their friendship began through their husbands at Yale University over 60 years ago! In 1979, both couples relocated to Los Angeles.
Yogi Patty was just as delightful as her husband Pete and we developed a long term practice together that took place every Wednesday at noon on her beautiful property with an amazing back yard the likes of which I had never seen!
In the pond there was a white crane. Thin & delicate standing on one leg. Patty said, that's my crane. Along with the ducks that came to visit her pond, so did the elegant and graceful bird. Over the next 6 years during our sessions, we would wait for the crane to come and watch it together. I told her then that if she were a bird, she was definitely the crane.
In my Animal Spirit book, the crane was to be called upon to create balance in the environment. It was said to be sensitive & alert to its surroundings at all times. Just like Yogi Patty who had survived much physical trauma in her life - many falls and even being run over by a car. However, her mantra was, 'I am a BAD ASS!'
Patty was a wacky Aquarius Sun sign & I a wacky Aquarius Moon - we fit together like to silly puzzle pieces. Every Wednesday we would walk her 1/2 mile block to get her out in the fresh air & warmed up for practice. She was always quite funny with the neighbors and told stories along the way. Our sessions continued with chair yoga & her "sit to stands" were amazing.
Her ankle mobility was just incredible as she gardened most of her life in a low squat to the ground planting. At 86 it really showed! I would trade ankles with her any day. To see Yogi Patty and her sit to stands, visit my reels on my Instagram page. It's my most popular video!
After our chair yoga, I would stretch Yogi Patty on her bed & massage her legs & back. We always finished with a guided meditation the last 10 minutes before Sivasana. It was her favorite part of our sessions. We would sit after and talk of intuitive 'hits' she received from the meditations.
Our sessions went like this for years. During covid, we went online, and Pete, who Patty & I deemed The Camera Man, would attend each session over those 2 years. Yogi Patty, The Camera Man, and I became close during that time. I remember on our first in person visit after much time had passed we were all emotional. It was then that they shared their wedding album with me, as they had just celebrated 66 years of marriage!!! I cried.
In January of 2023 Yogi Patty was diagnosed with dementia. Our sessions continued and were fine with only a few silly moments - as she called them. In May, Yogi Pete had a stroke and was relocated to a facility to heal. A wonderful care giver named Ty came to take care of Yogi Patty. It was the first time Pete & Patty had ever been separated.
That first visit was very intense for me as her friend & teacher. Yogi Patty not only did not recognize me...she was afraid of me. I had never experienced anything like this with another human being. I excused myself to the bathroom and cried.
Ty, the luminous care giver, guided me that day. I learned a lot about the human spirit and love. There was so much love that day. Yogi Patty warmed up to me and we played records, did a little movement, and ate ice cream. She was like a kid. She was so sweet.
The following week I didn't see Patty as she had an appointment. Ty texted me that Patty had asked where 'that girl' was. I was elated she remembered me!
Ty sent a picture of Patty fresh out of the shower smiling. I sent one back waving. Patty waved to my picture. I cried.
The day before I left for Austria in June, I saw Yogi Patty one last time. I stayed over 2 hours with her & the luminous Ty who fixed me her home made pasta. 'The girls' sat at the table, did a little chair yoga, and, as always, ate ice cream. Patty let me hug her goodbye. As Ty showed me out, Patty stood at the top of the stairs where we went to do yoga for the last six years. "Namaste Yogi Patty, I love you." She blew me a kiss.
As I sit writing this, I think of the white crane, delicate yet strong like Yogi Patty. Resilient.
I learned so much from this woman over the last few years. She had been a therapist in her day and loved to write. She also loved art, literature, dance, and music. Her favorite song during covid was Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, which we listened to one day after looking for her elegant bird.
I bow to the crane. I bow to my wacky Aquarius counterpart. I will miss our sessions and waxing poetic with you about the universe. I'm so happy you are now with your 'great guy' and you will finish your journey together. You both & your marriage were inspiring.
NAMASTE YOGI PATTY, THE LIGHT IN ME BOWS TO THE LIGHT IN YOU. AND SO IT IS.