We learned about Marsha Danzig’s death on Saturday night, from an Instagram post by Todd Domingo. The news floored us—last we’d heard, Danzig (the guru of amputee yoga) was as full of life as ever, the very definition of health in mind / body / spirit. In mid-December she delivered a TedX talk titled, “Flamenco Is My Flight.” Danzig’s year-old venture, Deep Into Your Soul, was picking up momentum. Less than two weeks ago, she rang in the new year on Facebook with greetings from her beloved pooches.
In an article she wrote for Amplitude‘s second issue back in 2015 (flip to page 8), Danzig said: “Yoga offers the best of what amputees want—physical freedom, a relaxed psyche, and a feeling of calm in the face of uncertainty.” She shared those gifts with thousands of people, not only amputees but also people with other disabilities and boring old able-bodied people. While Danzig will continue to nurture bodies and spirits through her books and videos, there’s no replacing her presence. The loss is a deep one.
Tributes are pouring in on Danzig’s Facebook page. We did not know her personally, so we’re amplifying the words of the people who did:
Lucy Lomax: “Marsha was an amazing woman who survived childhood cancer, leg amputation, kidney failure, and a kidney transplant. She was one of the smartest, most caring and loving people I’ve ever known. The yoga world has lost one of the most talented, empathetic, and creative teachers of accessible and amputee yoga.”
Jivana Heyman: “I’m heartbroken to hear about the passing of the amazing Marsha Danzig. . . . She had a profound understanding of the body, dance and movement, and a special skill at connecting with our hearts.”
Aristotle Todd Domingo: “I am in disbelief and beyond heartbroken to learn of the passing of a dear friend, an amazing, gracious, and constant motivator and mentor to me. She was the one who showed me the way to yoga again and gave me confidence in the practice when I thought I’d never do yoga after experiencing limb loss. The community and the world has lost one of its amazing people. You will be remembered by many, and your work will live on.”
Guided by Humanity: “We are so grateful and honored to know a true legend. Marsha so effortlessly danced to the beat of her own drum, literally. . . . Marsha was a true individual, living her most authentic life.”
Ann Oliver: “She always had a joyful, radiant smile throughout flamenco class, even when learning new choreography. You will be missed by your dance community, your yoga friends, and the many people you inspired through ‘Yoga For Amputees.'”
Nerisa Garcia: “Marsha Therese Danzig was a ray of light in the amputee community and a beacon of hope. She just radiated warm gentle energy. The world seems dimmer.”
Peggy Pyro: “My beautiful friend, I’m so so sorry you had to leave us, I’m sorry that you don’t get to continue your incredible work. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to have one last conversation with you.”
Melissa King: “This beautiful woman and amputee did so much in the amputee community to make us all realize that just because you have a limb loss you are not less than, that you can do so many things and do them beautifully. Fly high sweet angel.”
We’re especially sorry to report that Danzig died of COVID-19, which is the very antithesis of everything she worked for. This disease not only attacks bodily health but also has eroded emotional and spiritual well-being all over the world. As a cancer survivor and organ transplantee with a vulnerable immune system, Danzig was vaccinated and had received a booster shot. The damn bug got her anyway. For all the division and anger this pandemic has wrought, her death should be an occasion for renewal. Marsha Danzig preached wholeness. Let all unite in mourning her death. Let us honor her life by embracing the principles of peace and healing which she embodied so beautifully.