Jeremy Drew’s early years were spent on an apple orchard in rural northern California. Like most children, his play included experimenting with his body: headstands, the splits, and holding his breath for as long as he could. An extremely physical and active youth, he tried weight-training, cycling, and the other typical Physical Education activities presented in American schools.
Then, when he was 23, Jeremy was bitten by a rattlesnake. He almost lost his arm and his life (photo of his fasciotomy). He spent seven days in a medically-induced coma, which he remembers in its entirety. It was the most difficult week of his life, due to bouts of being unable to move (as a result of the drugs that had been administered) interspersed with times when he could move his body but found himself tied to the bed in restraints. During the coma, he gained some insight into the nature and workings of the mind and body. Something changed within him and he became very interested in studying the self.
The day after the surgeon laced up the fasciotomy incision with rubber bands, the PT instructed Jeremy to move all the joints of the arm through their full range of motion once every 30 minutes. No specific exercises were recommended, just the adage “use it or lose it.” Jeremy’s formal yoga practice began that day. He was told to watch for asymmetries and to engage the limb in frequent, systematic movement until it healed fully. Determined to regain full use of the limb, Jeremy engaged in vigorous rehabilitation, and regained full strength and range of motion within six months.
Once his arm healed, Jeremy began to study philosophy and sought out techniques for self-transformation that would make life more enjoyable. He began with the Bible, since that was the text he already knew. Then he systematically studied all the self-help books available in the Las Vegas public libraries. In 2008, his studies of Buddhism led him to the yoga concepts of Yama and Niyama—and he quickly began searching for more. For the last ten years, Jeremy has immersed himself in the study of some of the principal texts on yoga and Indian philosophy: Bhagavad Gita, Mahabharata, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Rig Veda, the major Puranas, Ramayana, and Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Jeremy had the opportunity to dig deeper into rehab eight years after the snakebite, when a car ran a stop sign in his neighborhood and Jeremy suffered a broken left collarbone, multiple fractures of all but one rib on the left side, and a collapsed lung left lung. Asana and pranayama practice contributed to another remarkable recovery, and Jeremy uses deep backbends and twists as part of an ongoing maintenance program for his thoracic health.
One of Jeremy’s strengths as a yoga teacher is his highly refined eye—he is able to quickly identify muscular and skeletal imbalances and inefficient movement patterns in his asana students. His instructional style is simple and he introduces new concepts and practices to students with the restraint of a mature educator. Jeremy helps students at Desert Yoga School in Las Vegas make the changes they desire to their lives by presenting them with asana and pranayama exercises, guidance in diet and lifestyle choices, and lessons in philosophy and ethics.
Jeremy has lived in Las Vegas since 1998. He has two grown children who were raised on a plant-based diet. Jeremy engages in intensive daily yoga practice and lives simply. He and Marissa grow their own produce and Jeremy designs and tailors much of his own clothing. He likes to make and fly kites, take his boat out on the water, go rock climbing and spelunking.
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