Greg Marzullo is one of the best teachers of anything I have ever seen. Perhaps that is why his classes at Flow Yoga Center on P Street NW in DC and elsewhere are always jammed. I study with him at Flow, have studied with him at Extend Yoga in North Bethesda, near where he and his husband Jordan live. He has an incisive intelligence, uses humor and music exceedingly well in his teaching.
Friday we almost lost him. As he writes in Stroke of Fortune, his most recent blog post from yesterda,
I’m 37. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink (even wine, sadly). I’ve never even tried pot. I’m a vegetarian. I practice yoga.I am making this post for several reasons.
Last Friday, I had a stroke.
I was at home, and in a moment, the right side of my body was numb and paralyzed, from shoulder to foot. I was taken to the ER, where, after an MRI, it was discovered I had a stroke caused by a blood clot in the left side of the brain. After a night in the ICU, I was sent home.
First, Greg is still with us, because he acted quickly. Strokes can be treatable if we respond quickly.
Second, I have had my own recent scare about the possibility of a stroke, even though it now appears that I had a silent migraine - unlike Greg, I never had any numbness or loss of any function, just a blurring of vision in one eye. But I have both high blood pressure and high cholesterol. While since the end of last yer (December 30) I have avoided meat - as well as beer and icecream - dropped 30 pounds, and begun an intensive practice of yoga, I am not immune to the threat of stroke or heart attach. Taking one's health seriously is a positive at any age.
Third, I wanted to point people at Greg's blog post, which I found remarkable.
He taught yesterday. Seated. I was not there but a good friend, who has known about the stroke since the weekend, was.
Greg has chosen to use his stroke as instructive, but not merely about his physical condition. As he writes
I’ve been thinking increasingly (well before this incident) that loss is really what the path is all about and that gain is just a set-up for desolation. Whatever the loss might be – a relationship ends, a loved one dies, an identity changes, a body short circuits – this is where yoga steps in and provides us with the tools to navigate the murky waters of this life.Read the peace. Even not knowing Greg as I do, his intelligence and thoughfulness will some through. You will find it worthwhile.
And then perhaps you, like I, will hold him "in the light" so that we may continue to benefit from his teaching, not merely of the physical aspects of yoga.