I dedicate my website to my mother, Lee Jung Wook (1942-2016), who died after a long illness with breast cancer. Her life is a very good — or really bad depending on how you look at it — example of epigenetics: She was a young child who survived the horrors of the Korean War and lived with unresolved trauma and pain, suffering from almost constant anxiety and depression. She was in a perpetual state of fear and worry and seemed unable to choose her thoughts. She had chronic insomnia and exhaustion even before her diagnosis. Her mental problems went untreated her entire life. She did not have adequate psychosocial support from her family or her society.
Since she developed breast cancer in her early 50s, modern medicine — while I am grateful for the dedicated practitioners and staff – treated her physical symptoms and could not adequately address the root cause of her disease.
Every time I practice and teach what I practice, which is self-care that nourishes and heals my body and mind, I know I am changing my genetic destiny. I was unable to reach my mother in time, as she was gripped tightly both by cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease toward the end. I also feel guilty that I did not try hard enough to live by her side and become more intensely involved in her care.
It is now my mission to help others avoid my mother’s fate.
I also would like to express my profound gratitude to Guruji, Mr. B.K.S. Iyengar, and his devoted students who are my teachers and continue to light the way for my journey. Their love and insights have truly shown me what kind of person I would like to be: Compassion and love must be mixed with hard work and discipline. Truly serving my students may sometimes mean risking not being liked, because I must ask them to become aware and examine parts of themselves that they may not be prepared to consider.
“Yoga does not just change the way we see things; it transforms the person who sees.” – B.K.S. Iyengar