The Season of gratitude – Thanksgiving


The human body and spirit is amazingly resilient but at the same time shockingly fragile. If we build awareness of our own fragility, if we remember the preciousness of every moment with our family and friends then we can truly celebrate the season of gratitude.- Thanksgiving…..

It is in this spirit that I wish to dedicate our Thanksgiving class to Jamie Kissler. She is a regular students at Spira. She is also a student that touched my heart from the very beginning. I still remember her first yoga class. It is memorable because she came to yoga with a pillow… a pillow for her hands because her wrists were just recovering from surgery. Clearly she does not let a little thing like surgery stop her from practicing.

She is also a special soul because she makes an effort to make a loving connection with everyone in the room. If you ever met Jamie, you know, pure love. About 8 months ago she wrote me a letter where she thanked me for all I have done for her and offered me her friendship. She somehow felt the busy loneliness that can come as a mixed blessing for a business owner. She sees people. She sees people and shares her love of life. We have been good friends since.

Two months ago Jamie was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I still cannot believe it. One day she was practicing, next day she is in the hospital.

Jaime does not have family that could help her and she had to close her business due to her illness…she needs help.

Thanksgiving Day November 28th

– FREE CLASS- space subject to availability.

9:45am with Dora
This Thanksgiving class is also a fundraiser to support our friend Jamie Kissler

Donations welcome! Please cash only. A student at Spira who wishes to remain anonymous has volunteered to match all donations over $15 up to a total of $1000. This means if you donate $15 Jamie will receive $30. My goal is to raise enough money to cover Jamie’s rent through the holidays so she can enjoy the season without stress. (all other classes are cancelled)

The following is Jamie’s letter to Spira Power Yoga
19 months ago I came to my first class at Spira and my life changed completely during my first session. I knew I would be a much older student and despite being athletic, wasn’t sure if I would be strong enough to participate. For the two weeks before attending the first “Intro to Power Yoga Series,” the fear of failure over why I couldn’t succeed were loud in my head, but my mind was stronger. At the end of that first class, I never had experienced such a challenge to my mind and body. Within a few weeks of attending, my heart and soul began to change too.

Though I left the studio somewhat “shell shocked” that first night, I started attending class immediately. I would attend whatever class worked with my schedule. Everyone in my life saw huge changes in not just my physique, but primarily in the peace I experienced and how I began to interact with others on an even deeper level. I began to face other challenges in my life, which were directly tied to my experiences at the studio. After a few months, I began to open up emotionally and was finally able to deal with the broken-ness of my spiritual life. I found (or maybe should I say, God found) a sweet, small church in Burien to attend and soon, I began to feel whole and alive again. I began to envision a more meaningful life. My desire to love and care for others deepened.

Dora encouraged me to participate in every workshop I could manage and I did. From the 40 Day to David Swenson, I went to everything. I began to know other yogis by face and name and soon I had a regular place in the 9:45 am class. Having coffee with other students became something I looked forward to and soon I realized I had found a home at Spira.

Though I hadn’t been feeling well for a handful of months, I, as well as everyone I knew was shocked when I was diagnosed with cancer 2 months ago. After I collasped and was rushed to the hospital, Spira was right there. I didn’t even have to ask the teachers and students for support. Not more than a day or two goes by without phone calls or text messages and I find myself moved to tears often by the love and support and visits from Spira yogis.

Since being diagnosed I have had to close my business (esthetician with a small shop just for myself), sell my car and learn to live a very different way. I spent almost 3 weeks hospitalized when I first was diagnosed and it truly is a miracle that I didn’t die then.

I am blessed to have a small pension to live on (from my deceased husband), but it barely covers keeping a roof over my head. I work hard each day to stay in the moment and be very thankful for the day. I have medical insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything. I receive chemotherapy every 2 weeks for 46 hours at a time. Though it makes me quite sick, I believe the training from Spira helps me bear it. I am practicing breathing and often picture myself at the studio. Yesterday I went for my first walk – 4 blocks down the beach and home!

I have so much to be thankful for, but one of the things at the top of my list is Spira.

Thank you everyone for supporting me …… Jamie Kissler

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