How Body Tuning Expanded My Yoga Practice and My Sense of Self

Many people who begin physical exercise have the common goal of losing weight. It was no different for me, I had gained a lot in my first year of college, freshman 15 they call it, it got me, and I was driven to lose it all.

When many physical activities were creating muscle fatigue, drowsiness, and pain in my body I decided to give yoga a try. After my first class I knew yoga was something I loved. Would it help me lose weight? I wasn’t quite sure, but I loved how fluid it was and how my body was able to adapt to it easily.  I’d get sore, sweat, and feel like I got a good workout in.

Those feelings lasted about 6-7 months. After that I wouldn’t get so sore, if sore at all. I’d sweat, but because I was moving in 80 degrees or so, the feeling of a great workout changed to falling in love with a mind-body connection and understanding my movements.

A year practicing yoga and I lost that freshman 15 plus, but yoga changed for me in that interim. It was no longer about losing the weight; it was about finding an hour of self in a crazy world.

By the time I graduated college I knew I wanted to become a yoga instructor. It spoke to me in ways a major in communications and marketing never could. The spring I graduated college I enrolled for a summer intensive yoga teacher training course. Just 5 weeks later I was a certifiable yoga instructor.

I started teaching right away but having a full-time job and teaching were getting in the way of each other, not to mention the commute I had to take from place to place! After some time, I decided to focus on my yoga business entirely.

As I had more free time for classes I also had more free time for myself. The best way for me to fill that time was through yoga! After about 6 months of practicing consistently I injured myself. Badly. At first, I shook it off, so I have a little wrist pain (in both wrists), it’ll go away just like my hip pain did and my low back pain and that stiff neck I have a few times a month… It’s all part of the yoga practice!

When the wrist pain continued and started getting in the way of my yoga practice, I decided to see a doctor. He told me I had tendinitis in both wrists, and I should wear a brace on both hands’ day and night. For one month I wore 2 braces on both wrists through the day and all through the night. I barely practiced yoga and struggled to do simple things like drive, write, and sleep.

After that time, I thought I was getting better, but 2 weeks after taking the braces off my pain came back tenfold. It came to the point where I’d break down in tears attempting to lift my arm to grab a cup or my phone. I couldn’t hold anything or bring myself to lift my arms more than 45 degrees.

I went to my yoga teacher for advice, what do I do? What can she recommend? Her advice was confident and clear when she told me to visit a body tuner named Glenn Black. He usually practices upstate in Rhinebeck, but lucky for me he was in town this week and I should grab an appointment with him!

I did exactly that and when I saw Glenn he explained to me what was going on and told me what to do, but I couldn’t continue seeing him because Rhinebeck was a little over 3 hours away and I’d need to go a couple of times a week. I wasn’t completely opposed to it at the time, but I decided to search for other options. That’s when I found Shmuel.

After researching Glenn Black an apprenticeship he took came up. I learned that he was taught by Dr. Shmuel Tatz. A doctor conveniently located in NYC. I remember looking at the website for the first time and reading about yogis who have been treated by him. Reading about the miracle hands that were sure to free me from my pain and misery.

I sent a very desperate email begging for an appointment as soon as they can see me, lucky for me that was the very next day.

On March 22nd, 2018 I had my first appointment with Dr. Tatz.

I remember being very confused with my session. I had come in for my wrists and yet here the doctor was working on my stomach. Why?

Then, Dr. Tatz asked me something that shook me to my core, he asked me how long I’ve been suffering with pain in my stomach.

Starting sometime in elementary school I was always in pain and always at the nurse’s office. It got to a point where the nurse thought I was lying of my stomachaches. I’d go to doctors, gastrologists, get sonogram tests, but nothing was out of the ordinary and no one ever helped me find relief.

Why is this important? Because my wrist pain wasn’t coming from me putting weight on my wrists (though it didn’t help), my wrist pain came from an imbalance in my body. My body was so out of tune that I couldn’t keep up with the very small and simple exercises Daniel gave me to do that day.

The rest of my days as a patient Dr. Tatz and Daniel worked on all parts of my body. By my 6th session my wrist pain was completely gone, but I wanted to feel as great as my body would allow, so I continued tuning up.

Dr. Tatz made it very clear to me that if I wanted to get better there was be no yoga for a minimum of 3 months. 3 months!!! I was saddened, upset, some may even say angry, but I was sure that if I wanted to get better there were things I had to do. Giving up yoga temporarily was one of them. And so, I was all in.

There were times I’d go 4 times a week just to feel the ‘light and airy’ feeling that came with getting tuned up. It was an addicting feeling and with it came my real understanding of a mind-body connect.

Body Tuning & Physical Therapy became an oasis for me. It became my home away from home. When I wasn’t teaching, I was there; I became enamored by the way Dr. Tatz and Daniel worked. They seemed to have known all the secrets of the body and I wanted to be in on it. Dr. Tatz picked up on that pretty quickly, by June he offered me an internship. I started right away and everyday became increasingly interested in learning about the body.

Today- 2 years and a few months since my first session at Body Tuning and Physical Therapy I have learnt more about the body and its movements than one would normally learn in a lifetime. I changed the way I practice and the way I teach. I learnt what real true mind-body connect is, with that I learnt how to truly love myself. Today, I am still learning to become a better aide, teacher, yogi, and person. I live in a much different and healthier body than the one I had first walked in with. I learn about health from all different angles and have developed healthier walking patterns, eating habits, and stress relief mechanisms. Through Body Tuning I learnt what it means to be a true yogi, fully emerged in my being. I learnt meditation, I learnt breath, I learnt movement. I am still learning and still improving.

Without Shmuel and Daniel, I don’t know who I’d be or where I’d be mentally or physically. They shaped me in ways I can never truly explain.

If you’re wondering if Body Tuning is for you, you shouldn’t have to. Come in for a consultation. If Dr. Tatz or Daniel can’t help you, they will tell you. They are honest and good-hearted men who’s love for healing shows through their practice. 

Let Body Tuning become your home-away-from-home.

By Jacqueline Oved