A student of one of my beginning classes in San Francisco, drove with me to the Ananda Meditation Retreat in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Halfway through the journey her purse fell open. Out fell an assortment of green, yellow and blue pills.
“What on earth are you doing with all those pills?” I asked.
“Why, I couldn’t get along without them!” she exclaimed. “I need the green pills to put me to sleep at night. They leave me groggy in the morning, so I take the yellow pills to help me wake up. The yellow pills make me edgy, so I take the blue pills later in the day, as tranquillisers.”
“Well,” I said, “you’ve been practising yoga for two weeks now. Why don’t you try doing a few postures before going to bed, and see if you can get along without all those crutches?”
“Impossible!” she cried in alarm. “You don’t know me. I’ve never been able to sleep without them. I’m a complete pill addict!”
After a week, however, she worked up enough courage to try my suggestion. The next day she telephoned me to say that she had never slept so well in her life. A year and a half later we spoke again on the phone. She was still practising yoga postures. Her dependence on pills had been overcome completely.
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