March 2009

 

Anthony Crutcher: Yogi economist

Years of yoga have kept Anthony Crutcher calmer than the average bear.

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Anthony Crutcher, a 56-year-old economist in Distributor Field Accounting, first started taking yoga classes in 1997. He had gotten into power walking, and he noticed his body was tightening up.

“Then I hurt my knee really badly,” says Crutcher, basically tearing apart his right anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. “The doctor said it was better just to leave it as it is rather than to operate and try to put a new ACL in there and go through painful rehabilitation.”

So Crutcher started attending Sue Reynolds’ yoga classes at the Live Well Center in Chattanooga, and he immediately saw the benefits. “I was suffering from job stress, and it relieved my stress,” he says. Certain poses, over time, have broken up scar tissue and built up supporting muscles around his knee, helping Crutcher compensate for his absent ACL.

“A lot of people come to class because of physical problems, in particular back, shoulder and neck pain,” says Crutcher. “For many of them who have come, these issues have improved. But many people don’t realize that you also build strength and bone density in yoga, especially in weight-bearing poses.”

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Anthony Crutcher teaches a class at the Live Well Center in Chattanooga.

As his interest in yoga grew, Crutcher asked Reynolds if he could shadow her and serve as an apprentice, which he did. When Reynolds opened up her own studio, ClearSpring Yoga, she suggested Crutcher as her replacement at Live Well. He is now teaching four classes a week – two at Live Well and two at ClearSpring. Over the years, Crutcher also has attended many workshops. He has studied with a teacher named Doug Keller and is currently studying Prajna Yoga with Tias Little who is located in Santa Fe, N.M. “Prajna” means wisdom.

The Sanskrit word “yoga” means “yoke,” or “union,” and refers first to the union of mind, body and spirit, but ultimately it means union of the individual self to the Divine, Universal Spirit, Cosmic Consciousness or God. “Yoga can benefit people on many levels, not just the physical, but also on the mental and the spiritual,” Crutcher says.

Each yoga class ends with the Sanskrit greeting “namasté,” which means literally, “I bow to you,” but in the yoga context means, “The light in me honors the light in you.”

Namasté.