Beyond Science


My daughter’s master’s thesis has
to do with the effect of yoga on heat shock proteins, if I understand
her correctly.

What it means is that she cycles across
Windsor, Ontario, every morning with a portable centrifuge in her
backpack, and a basket filled with other science-y tools. She calls
herself The Hobo Scientist. She cycles to a 6am Ashtanga yoga class
where she takes blood samples, skin temperature readings, etc., from
her participants half-way through each class.

Then Kali cycles back to school where
she inputs her data and does the rest of her school work. She
repeats her morning routine for a 6pm hot yoga class.

Her participants, reportedly a wildly
enthusiastic and formerly inactive bunch, are doing three classes per
week for the eight-week trial. Everyone expects amazing results. I’ll
keep you posted.

The yoga teachers involved in the study
prefer that Kali participates in the classes rather than sitting on
the sidelines, staring. (Talk about creating nervousness on the mat!)
In the interest of science, then, Kali has flung herself into an
intense yoga life.

Here’s the bit I love. Kali is a
fabulous athlete. Always has been. She runs, swims, cycles, and
plays basketball, volleyball, and extreme Frisbee with a kind of
bring-it-on ferocious joy. If you ever, ever find yourself in need of
a cheerleader/coach, Kali is your woman.

It turns out she’s humbled by yoga.
“It’s HARD,” she said yesterday. “I’m working really,
really hard.”

She mentions two goals at this point.
The first is to have her heels touch the floor in Downward Dog by the
time she finishes her master’s degree. They’re nowhere near the
floor at this point, she says.

The second goal is to figure out why
she begins to cry every time they do hip openers.

On Skype yesterday she was radiant. I
felt proud of her (this is the norm) and proud of yoga (this is
bizarre). Some great shift happened in the universe when Kali and
yoga got together.

It’s one thing to love yoga myself.
It’s another to see the same thing happen to my kid. Have you
experienced that?

Thanks to Kali, my beautiful, brave,
radiant daughter for taking on yoga. Thanks to yoga for taking Kali
on. And thanks to you for the conversation,


Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (About All
Things Wonderful) in North Bay, Ontario.  Join her on the
and on

This entry was posted in ashtanga, childrenandparents, hotyoga, kali, Yoga and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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