On April 12, we lost one of our own – Vera. A short but touching email, sent by her husband Jim to Val, delivered the news of her passing:

Dear Val,
My wife, Vera, passed away today at Walter Reed Hospital. She suffered from the effects of a ruptured aneurism in her brain. I don’t know how best to let Cathy know that Vera’s Yoga is now ended, but she did enjoy and value the experience, and she held Cathy in high regard. Please pass that on to her.
Thanks, Jim

This is how I remember Vera:

When I first saw cute, petite Vera walk into my Yoga class more than two years ago, I realized she looked familiar. She had been a regular customer of mine about 10 years prior at a hair salon where I worked. She soon became a regular Yoga “customer” of mine, amazed at the odds of her walking into my class.

Vera was what I call “old school”. She reminded me of my own mother…always moving, always sweet, and never complaining. She came from the generation where the simple characteristics of quiet determination and hard work were common. This is also how she practiced her Yoga. Many times during class I would see Vera doing her best to perform a pose, no matter how challenging; her face always soft and sweet looking and never did I hear her struggle to breathe. She took it all in her own stride and knew when to skip or modify. I never heard her complain about not being able to perform a pose or complain about aches and pains after class. She would simply thank me for the practice and tell me how good she felt and then she was out the door! She’s what I call “good people” and I feel grateful to have spent time with such a good soul.

This brings to mind something I read by Eckart Tolle. He said, ” Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.” The universe gives our minds the gift of memory and as long as we remember Vera, she will forever be “alive”.

Our heartfelt condolences to Vera’s husband, Jim, and to her family! For those of you who knew Vera, please share your memories by leaving a comment.

Here some pictures of Vera taken at our past Yoga retreats:









  1. Blessings dear yoga people, and my deepest sympthy. Although it has been at least a year since I was in class, I remember Vera as one of the calm and steady students I followed when I was struggling.

  2. Such a loss for us. Vera radiated kindness, good cheer and quiet elegance in class and I always looked forward to her smile when our eyes met. We’re all so fortunate to have known her.

  3. My deepest condolences to her family and friends. Vera was always a quiet and pleasant presence in class. She will missed in our yoga community–her easy seat to be admired, her spirit to be forever remembered. RIP and Namaste, dear Vera.

  4. I considered Vera to be my friend. We often chatted before and after class.
    It seemed that some of the poses were difficult for her, but she always tried to do them. She was a person I will not easily forget.

  5. Vera had been coming to class for quite a while before we started talking; once we did, there was always a friendly exchange. Over time, she had made such progress with the poses even though her arthritis was ever present. Vera was always the first one up after Shavasana returning her mat while the rest of us (especially me!) still struggled ‘waking up’. I will remember her leaving class refreshed, relaxed and ready to face the rest of the day! Vera, I hope you didn’t have to suffer long, you left us all too soon, you’ll be missed!

  6. I will miss Vera dearly. We both had arthritis and shared newsletters. She will be missed by the earthly Yoga family. Namaste.

  7. Adieu Vera,
    How wonderful to have had you in our yoga class. For me, you were so much more than “yoga partner”, you were a friend. I always enjoyed our drives to the retreats and back. You will be missed.

  8. My heart is saddened by the loss of our friend, Vera. She was such a kind and gentle spirit. She truly will be missed. A reminder that life is a precious gift. Our prayers are with her family.

  9. My sincere sympathy goes out to Vera’s family. I saw her often in the Yoga classes at the YMCA. She was always quiet, reserved and polite to me. I did not have many sustained conversations with her, but I will miss her presence. May heaven’s face smile upon all of you and grant you peace.

  10. Many thanks to all of you in this wonderful Yoga group, who served as a friendly fountain of energy and renewal for my sweet Mom. Our family is so touched by the incredibly kind remarks and genuinely compassionate comments you’ve taken time to note here about how Mom touched each of you. To our family, she was simply the most selfless, kind, and generous soul who overflowed with love and goodness in every way. My brother and I consider ourselves so lucky to have been blessed with the incredible fortune to be her sons, always cared for in a love that is the best way that only great Moms like her can provide. We were shocked to have lost her so suddenly, and had high hopes to spend many years more with her in the hopes to try and give her more smiles to get through the pains that we knew she bore, yet never heard her complain about (as some of you have also noted). She was truly the most selfless person I’ve known. God bless Mom and grant her a well-deserved peace; she is an Angel whom we were blessed to have walked with for these years. Namaste Mom. – Jim Nugent Jr.

    • Your welcome Jim. Know that I plan to read this beautiful comment at the start of our annual Spring Yoga Retreat this coming Sunday. Vera attended two of our past retreats and she will attend this retreat in spirit through our memories of her. Last night after class, one of my students, Sonia, came to me to tell me that she decided to go to the retreat. Her reason for going and exact words to me were, “I’m going for Vera”. Amazing!


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