CASSANDRA MARCELLA METZGER
JD, MA, C-IAYT, RYT
A yogini since 1994 and a teacher since 2002, I'm now a practicing yoga therapist. I teach women living with illness how to redesign their lives so they can have more ease despite disease.
Through yoga therapy, I show women how to befriend their bodies, even when their bodies have betrayed them. Meditation is marvelous medicine to create space for change. (I believe meditation saved my life). I've loved essential oils since the early 1990s. But since I got sick, I’ve mastered how to manage the roiling emotional trauma of living with an illness using aromatherapy. It’s amazing. My latest fav tool is bullet journaling which is a terrific, adaptable method to raise awareness about my body and life, to navigate the mercurial symptoms that pop up, and to help me plan my best life possible!
As a writer, I’ve been featured on Teach.Yoga, MindBodyGreen, The Mighty and the HuffPost (where one of my pieces went viral with over 17,000 likes and 4,500 shares).
When I got sick, I was working at PBS Headquarters as an attorney at my dream job with smart people doing important work. I loved my life and career. I had just bought a home. I was in my early thirties and dating and looking for a partner to build a life and a family with. At the end of 1999, I gathered my dearest friends and hosted a great party to celebrate the millennium.
Within months all of that and all my hopes for my future were gone - through no choice of my own. I had chronic pain, and weakness so bad I couldn’t pick up a glass of water, and my sleep was beyond useless. I’d wake exhausted and feeling like an 18-wheeler truck had dragged me around the beltway!
I was mystified. I felt like a rat in a trap that kept coming up against obstacles, and I couldn’t find my way out of the maze. All my education and book knowledge and investigative skills and my type-A personality seemed to be of no help. I’m a Vassar grad and have a masters in creative writing from Johns Hopkins in addition to a law degree. I (obviously!) value the life of the mind but my mind couldn’t figure out what the f*ck was going on! And neither could many of the doctors I saw, including a team at the Mayo Clinic. I had never felt so lost and at a loss.
Doctors diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue, then Lyme disease (with a blood assay to “prove” it) and finally - for good measure - Fibromyalgia. The great trifecta of mercurial, misunderstood and mysterious chronic illnesses. And they were all invisible to the naked eye so, like too many others, my struggles and suffering was made worse by friends and family who didn’t believe me and by some who suggested I just needed to think more positively.
Still over the decades, I have figured out ways to create meaning, grace and joy in my life. I won’t lie. It’s not always been easy. There’s been a lot of spaghetti thrown at the wall to see what sticks and works. (Pasta again!) And I’ve weathered a lot of crises and storms. But I’ve become a very skillful, resourceful and resilient sailor of life, even when powerful riptides pull me away from where I wish to go. And now, as Louisa May Alcott put it in one of my favorite books, Little Women, “I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.”
One translation of a yoga teacher is a darkness dispeller. I love that because yoga dissipated so much darkness for me. Let me dispel darkness for you.
My mission & my commitment to you »
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