When Anna Pesce was visiting her children in Wagener, SC, in November 2014, the then-85-year-old Orangeburg, NY, native almost collapsed trying to climb a set of stairs.
I had this horrible pain shooting up my back, Pesce tells The Post. I had to be carried up the stairs and put into a wheelchair for the rest of my stay.
For the past few decades, Pesce suffered from hunchbacklike posture the result of a herniated disc, scoliosis and osteoporosis, which weakens the bones and can lead to curvature of the spine.
I tried everything: acupuncture, a physical therapist and seeing a chiropractor, Pesce adds. You feel good temporarily, but [Id be] in pain again soon after.
Three months after her South Carolina visit, she began working with certified yoga instructor Rachel Jesien, 28, who also suffers from scoliosis a curvature in the spine that usually develops during puberty and specializes in back care. Pesces granddaughter, also a yoga teacher, introduced the two.
Jesien visited Pesce in her home once a week, teaching her restorative poses and stretches such as childs pose and chair savasana, in which Pesce would rest her lower legs on a chair while lying on the floor with her knees slightly bent and a strap around her thighs. After one month of sessions, Pesce was able to walk again.
After two months, another big milestone was that [Pesce] knew what poses to do whenever the usual pains would come up for her, Jesien says. For example, if she was having hip pain, shed sit on a chair and do an ankle-to-knee pose.