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.”