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Blind Yoga Teacher Leads Yoga in the Dark

in Inspirations, YD News
Jennifer Landmesser, Yoga in the Dark

Jennifer Landmesser with her service dog Frank. Yoga in the Dark

Ten years ago Jennifer Landmesser’s retinas started mysteriously deteriorating. After years of failed medical treatments and decreasing eyesight, a gluten-free diet finally helped stop what was diagnosed as degenerative retina disease. Now legally blind, Landmesser, a former adrenaline junkie, career paramedic and generally active outdoorsy type, has had to make some major life changes. Good thing there’s yoga.

“I couldn’t live that life anymore,” she said. “It was physically and mentally impossible. I couldn’t drive, I could not do my job. My life no longer related to any of that stuff.

“So I had to rethink who and what I am, and what my purpose is. I knew I was a healer. But I didn’t know what at that point I needed to do.”

Landmesser, 40, is now a yoga teacher and leads a class at Aquarian Dreams holistic health center in Indialantic, Fla. as well as a workshop called “Yoga in the Dark” where students use blindfolds.

“Our vision tends to get in the way a lot when we do yoga,” Landmesser says. “We see the person next to us, we look at that person, we compete with that person. And because of that we end up missing a lot of what yoga can actually bring us.”

Teaching and practicing yoga Jennifer Landmesser is now inspiring others to live fulfilling lives no matter what their circumstances.

“I will never be a paramedic again, or drive, or be trusted to pick out colors, but I can teach yoga. I can inspire others to try new things, recognize their unique gifts and accept themselves for who they are. Because many, many, many things are possible.”

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6 comments… add one

  • Lucy

    You r such an inspiration! Your fabulous girl!!

  • Absolutely amazing. My next practice will be yoga in the dark.

  • She is amazing, and you can also take her workshop at Merritt Island Yoga in Florida on 3/23/13 if you are in the neighborhood!
    Congrats again Jen for not only bringing yoga to the world, but doing it in your fabulous and special way!
    peace and love

  • MJM

    She is also a very good instructor when it comes to a standard, lights-on class.

  • I live in Thailand, and here the government sponsors Thai Massage training for blind people. As a result of this there are many massage places where all therapists are blind. I have seen the same thing in Malaysia. Blind people can do many things that you would not think they could do.

  • Such an inspiring story and a valid point made about being distracted by what’s going on around you. I remember early classes when I felt so selfconscious because everyone could see my awkward moves.

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