It’s remarkable how much yoga has helped my work. In surgery, you can develop a lot of neck and back problems. There’s also definitely emotional stress — like, how do you tell someone their loved one is not going to make it? I wouldn’t have arrived at finding a balance without yoga.
I’m just a glorified plumber. I really do it because of the warmth and love I get back from patients and their families. You come out of the operating room and the families embrace you. It’s like a yoga hug. A yoga hug is unique to the yoga world, it feels like they’re trying to press their heart into your heart. People at Pure hug you like they mean it!
Building My Yoga Body
Pure is where I realize my growth, one asana at a time. I do all kinds of yoga there, mainly hot Vinyasa flow, sometimes I mix in Ashtanga. If you want to build a yoga body, you have to be patient and compassionate with yourself. There’s no such thing as the perfect yoga body. There’s just a journey that never ends.
Making the Connection
A yoga body really fosters connections between people. A yoga body is not just a “body.” It’s a vessel you use to spread empathy to everyone around you. That’s why I’ve been inviting Pure teachers to do Yoga Nidra sessions with patients through my charity — to build trust and share an experience.
Jay is an abdominal transplant surgeon at Montefiore Medical Center,
The Bronx, and director of the Helping Hands Fund.