Looking Forward to Returning to Bailey-Boushay House

When Charlie Heffernan was a diplomat, he traveled to countless corners of the world – from Albania to Zimbabwe. Everywhere he went, he led yoga classes that helped his team members stay centered in more than 20 countries.

“The most exotic might have been the class in Khartoum, Sudan, after Secretary Colin Powell’s trip to Darfur in 2005,” he said.

“When you give something of yourself, you get it back in spades. That’s been my experience for nearly a decade at Bailey.” — Charlie, BBH volunteer

After retiring from his career with the federal government, Charlie moved to Seattle and started teaching yoga closer to home. He joined a local studio, where some of the instructors volunteered teaching yoga at Bailey-Boushay House (BBH). Charlie was quick to join them.

“When you give something of yourself, you get it back in spades,” Charlie said. “That’s been my experience for nearly a decade at Bailey.”

Before the pandemic, Charlie offered yoga classes to clients where they practiced breathing and stretching exercises, often from chairs and wheelchairs. He also offered Bedside Yoga, a program his studio created, which offers gentle massage, breathing exercises and light stretches to inpatient residents, who are often at the end of their lives.

“Although inpatients are living in a world of tests and injections, they love having visitors,” he said.

Like most volunteers, Charlie hasn’t been to BBH since the stay-at-home orders were issued in March. He misses spending time with our community and has kept in touch through email. He looks forward to the day that it’s safe to return.

“I always love meeting new people at Bailey,” Charlie said. “They welcome me in. I feel their love and they feel mine. That’s what keeps me coming back.”