61 year old Dr Barbara Schaffer graduated from our YA 200 Teacher Training Course in  2010.

Here she makes the point that regularly practicing Ashtanga Yoga has had a therapeutic effect on the condition osteoporosis, that she suffers from.

It’s not about the drugs:


I have osteoporosis and have been diagnosed with that condition for over 10 years. It causes loss of bone mass and increases the risk of debilitating bone fractures for women and men over 50 years of age. Dutifully, I have taken a regimen of bone-saving drugs from the start, Fosomax and Zoldronate. There is no doubt that the drugs have help arrest the progression of my bone loss. My spine has gone from having osteoporosis to osteopenia (a lesser degree of loss). To what does modern medicine attribute this improvement, or reversal of bone loss? The use of drugs, of course. These drugs, however, only stop the continual loss of bone, they do not rebuild bone. Regeneration of bone is done by the physical body and for people over the age of 60 this is difficult. It is my belief that the significant regeneration of bone in my spine over the last 3 years can only be attributed to something that I have done differently in my life. What has that been?

I began practicing Ashtanga Yoga 5 years ago. My response to people who asked why I would practice this vigorous form of yoga at such a late age was, “I require this yoga”. Not knowing what that meant, I instinctively took to the mat knowing that the practice would change me. I put my trust in my yogi, Jude, and let the experience happen. Physical appearance was the initial part of the “Ashtanga draw”; the invisible changes to internal body and spiritual self were unknown to me at that time.  After 5 years of dedicated practice, Ashtanga Yoga has become vital to my day. Now it is the perpetual sense of awakening a purposeful self that brings me to the mat every morning. The mat is my place for undertaking transformative behaviors that occur because of the “Ashtanga attraction”.  I believe the practice is changing the real me and my physical body is just coming along for the ride.