Mad Joe

I was married for 18 years to my beautiful wife. Due to the nature of her work, she was working overseas for almost a year in Japan and rarely saw her. This was a difficult time as I was laid off during this year, and had a close family member pass away unexpectedly as well.

While in Japan, the started taking yoga classes on weekends when she couldn’t fly back home. It started as a company retreat, then turned into almost a weekly event for her as it helped her with stress and the difficulty of being away. Meanwhile, things at home weren’t so great. I became depressed from life, and felt the relationship I had with my wife becoming distant.

About 10 months into this, she flew back home and was going to the local yoga studio for a class when she dragged me along. At first I was a bit reluctant to go. I always thought of it as something women just did on their off time, like pilates or any other workout. I really didn’t know too much and wasn’t expecting much.

At this point in my life I was drinking and smoking a lot every day. I was at the pub each night and found motivation to do anything very difficult.

When I went to the class, I was at first surprised that there were other men in there. Not just any guy, but older, out of shape guys I would see at the pub. That first class didn’t go too well for me as I was out of shape and even had a hard time with stretching – the most stretching I did before this was reaching for my beer!

Well many months later, my wife is now reassigned back home. We still attend yoga together and it has brought us together and I would like to think that we are both generally happy. I’ve lost weight, look better and feel good.

During the year she away, we used to argue nonstop about every little thing, but even that has seemed to stop. Although I don’t do yoga as much as my wife, I find myself calmer and try to find happiness within myself.

Yoga may not be for everyone, but I think it teaches us to look at things in a different way and how. I was able to detach myself from my drinking and smoking. Was generally happier overall and my closeness with my wife has improved greatly.

Whether it was pure luck, coincidence or whatever, yoga came at a perfect time for me.

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