Yogi Arline is seen here seated in the chair hosting a delicious lunch at her home with other yogis for my big send off to my yoga retreat in Vietnam in 2019.
Yogi Arline was a mother of 5 (2 were twins), a wife to her college sweetheart, grandmother, world traveler, lover of books, foodie, and she may well have had the biggest heart I have ever seen.
I met this amazing woman in the fall of 2015. I had just finished my 200 hour yoga certification & had begun teaching yoga classes. One of my teachers messaged me to see if I would meet with an 80 year old woman who was looking for a private instructor. Yogi Arline was tiny but sassy, funny, and tenacious about her health. We hit it off immediately and so began our yoga lessons every Monday at 11am.
We immediately bonded over books as her yoga sessions were in her beautiful oak room library. She could read the biggest book in a mere few days. Although the room was filled with all the classics, her favorite novel of all time was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. She let me borrow the wonderful book to read....and it was just as she had said, delicious. I ordered my own copy last night to reread in her honor.
During our first few classes we moved through her nervous energy around public speaking. She was a docent at LACMA museum and would volunteer to give tours to groups & speak about the exhibits there. She was giving a particularly difficult tour around an architect. There was an enormous amount of information she was to memorize & she was so nervous. So I went to her first tour to give support. She was amazing of course and we celebrated her success of overcoming her fears with my love, at the time. We came to her home to make her his world renowned pizza. She gifted us a bottle of fabulous wine that came from a secret passage way behind the books in her library that opened into her wine cellar. She was so James Bond!
Over time she became so much more than a student, she was my friend, & she became one of my 'Spirit Moms'.
I have always had quite a challenging relationship with my mother. I had spoken to the universe many times around the 'Mother Hunger' wound on my own personal healing journey. When I began teaching yoga, all the 'Spirit Moms' arrived. They are women who are around my mothers age who showed me the love and tenderness I had always wanted from my own mother but felt I had not received.
I would give Yogi Arline 'energy baths' at the end of each session. I would then kneel at her feet as she sat in her chair and we would bow to each other to close the session. She would then open her arms and hold me tight & call me baby or darling. I loved that so much. Sometimes we would sit after our sessions and talk about a range of topics from world issues to love. I became her student in regards to wisdom through time and experience.
Our lessons grew to 3 times a week and so did the friendship. I can't say how many times over the years that we held each other. Whether I held her after she had watched the news and became distraught about the world or I laid my head in her lap crying after the ending of a love relationship. Our bond was truly special.
Once she shared with me her love story of how she met her husband in college and how they shared amazing adventures throughout their time together. He died a few years before she and I had met. There wasn't a day that we were together that his name did not come up. She missed him immensely. Their story from beginning to end could be written as a movie. They had been together longer than I had been alive. And on January 17th 2022 under the Cancer Full Moon, I like to think he was the one who arrived to greet her. To take her hand so they could go on yet another great adventure together in the heavens.
I received the text the next evening that she had passed. I sat in my living room floor and cried. I sat for a few hours remembering my time with her and I was so happy that she was now with her love. I ordered Elenor Oliphant is Completely Fine and it should arrive today. I can't wait to reread it and feel Arline's presence through each chapter...how she loved that book.
I love you Arline - you were such an inspiration! Even on oxygen you did 70 'Sit to Stands'!!
We saved your knee pain even at 85!! That moment still resonates in my mind! Us hugging it out after your incredible accomplishment. Your lung disease could not contain your fire!
A bow to you Yogi Arline. Thank you for teaching me about love and life. And thank you for being one of my 'Spirit Moms'. You blessed me beyond measure. May you hug your husband in all eternity. Namaste.
With Great Great Love,