Marcia Siegel on Self-Reflection with a Soundtrack

IMG_0105Marcia has been a yoga student since age 16, but has “only been teaching it about 12 years.” She teaches LifeForce Yoga, a style that deals with anxiety, depression, chronic pain and PTSD. I knew through the yoga-teacher grapevine that Marcia recently had rotator cuff surgery. I planned to ask her one random, revealing question but first we talked about her injury. The surgery was her last resort after a year of pain and trying many alternative/Eastern medicines. She said, “This injury has been humiliating, humbling and debilitating.” Here’s our talk starting in the middle.

You mentioned that you’ve been doing internal work about your injury and the psychology behind it?

Yes, I have a really hard time believing that something is just gonna be physical without it being emotional. I started doing my inner processing (journaling, writing) and I got down to a  lot of what this is. And I used another progressive therapist and within one session she nailed it.

And what is “it”?

Well, Myriam [Baker of BodyTalk San Diego] thought it was grieving about work, because I left teaching. But that is not it. I was real clear. I loved the kids and I loved what I did, but I was very ready to get out of the public school system.

Really it’s that I’ve had a lot of life experience. I need to let go and not be so hard on myself. I’ve had a lot of people who have been really close to me die. And now they’re in another world and sometimes it’s a little rough. In the type work I was doing before (teaching high school English, body-work clients and teaching yoga, and I‘m a full-time dog mother,) I was really busy. Basically I didn’t take time out from life to grieve, to grieve the people that had died and other losses in my life, like loss of a lifestyle. I’ve made some crazy, bad choices in life, like I’ve been married three times.

When was the last time you cried? What were the circumstances?

The last time I cried happened to have been a night or two ago. My mom sent me a YouTube video of a violinist playing Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.” And I broke down and cried. Music touches my soul. My mom used to play violin in the symphony in the Berkshires. If anyone ever wants to get to me, it’s through music.

This song just brought up everything because that’s basically my life. I’ve been doing it my way. Everyone else is still back on the East Coast and I’m out here. I’ve always been a little bit of a free spirit in terms of ways of thinking and being. So it was a flood from childhood all the way up through now.

My mom is 86, lives in Connecticut and has Parkinson’s, and music is a beautiful connection that I have with her. When I was little, she would practice violin and I would go under the bed and cry. Later on in life I realized that violin is so connected to the heart. I’d go under the bed because of the high notes (laughs.) I’m more of a drum-lover than the high notes. She also sent me Frank Sinatra playing “Both Sides, Now.” I used to work in Lake Tahoe and I was there when John Denver and Frank Sinatra gave the employees (I was one) a show that was just for us. Frank Sinatra came out with a glass of scotch and there was John Denver with a glass of milk and the two of them got along great. And the YouTube brought up all kinds of different stuff. I was 22 then, when the song came out. At the beginning of life. And now I’m at the last stages. The count-down. The last quarter. So I think back to the first quarter and look at my dreams, see what has come about and what hasn’t, what has materialized and what did I give up on. It’s a time of reflection.



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