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Posted on December 18, 2019 in

In celebration of our 10th Anniversary, Bast Amron has asked each of our lawyers to write about their passion outside the law. This month Bast Amron highlights Jaime Leggett. Jaime joined the firm in 2019 and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Jaime’s passion, described in his own words, is yoga training.

Before moving to Miami, I lived in New York City for 11 years, and I started paying attention to my fitness because I always lived in walk-ups. Every night, I’d have to climb up multiple flights of stairs regardless of how tired I was, at least if I wanted to get home rather than sleep on the staircase. After having a tough time lugging my D’Agostino frozen goods up to my apartment, I decided that day enough was enough. An elevator building was not an option given the cost (selling an arm and a leg to afford it would’ve made it even tougher to carry groceries), so I decided to commit myself to getting stronger to make my daily life easier.

After I started getting stronger, I realized that it was getting tougher to move – muscle can limit mobility. I could carry my groceries but not dodge the oblivious tourists getting in my way on the sidewalk. I also saw some older relatives who couldn’t walk or move around that well, and I didn’t want to end up needing one of those “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” alarms. Seeing how staying active can make your golden years easier certainly underscores the importance of keeping yourself limber from a young age. Hence, I started a long journey into yoga training.  

While I can write about this now, at the start I thought I was going to die, or at least have a limb fall off (meaning that selling an arm or a leg to afford an elevator building in the first instance might have ended up being a better choice). Then I got into it. The meditative aspect of yoga is not particularly interesting to me; rather, I came to love how challenging it was. Flexibility normally isn’t something you’re born with, and if you are, you may face challenges with strength and control through your range of motion. It is something you work for through an often uncomfortable, incremental process of causing physical and mental changes.

This is what I like about it – it is not easy, but the payoff is always there if you maintain a consistent level of effort. For other things in life, your success can be more variable, but flexibility is largely a matter of mental fortitude and simply showing up. I say simply showing up because the gains can literally be a centimeter increase in your range of motion over the course of three months, but over the course of years those improvements will be accumulative. Sometimes you have to take a step back to realize how far you’ve gotten because in the moment you’re too focused on how tough the hamstring stretch feels.

Even once you get past the basics (like touching your toes, or perhaps just looking down at your toes), it still remains interesting because the challenge increases. This process has taught me so much about anatomy and my own mind-body connection. It’s absolutely fascinating as part of a stretch to determine how exactly to engage the various muscles in order to stretch a specific one safely. Or maybe you need to strengthen a muscle because your body knows that you lack the control to perform the move safely. All in all, it’s been fascinating to learn how the body can be an incredible machine.  

Because I often get questions from people who want better mobility for their daily lives, my advice is: find a yoga studio you trust and just go each week. Hot yoga, regular yoga, hip hop yoga, yoga with goats – it doesn’t matter, just go and don’t stop going

About the Author: Jaime Leggett practices in the areas of bankruptcy and complex commercial litigation. His experience includes prosecuting director and officer liability claims; representing trustees, creditors, equity holders, and debtors in bankruptcy proceedings; federal and state court commercial litigation; and trials in federal, bankruptcy, and state courts nationwide. Click here to find out more about Jaime.