Yoga is not a practice for the Young. It is a practice to keep us feeling young. As you age the movements, breath work, and mindfulness practices of Yoga can help you to continue living a full and engaging life.
Yoga for the Young
When I was in my early twenties I was in so much pain that there were occasions when I couldn't stand up straight. My lower backed was compressed. The activities of my daily life were increasing the damage. I saw the doctor, took muscle relaxants, stopped running and went to the chiropractor. Then, my friends invited me to audit a Yoga class. Everything changed.
I had found a way to feel well and to reduce my back pain. I started seeking out places to practice Yoga. I visited gyms, studios, people's homes, American Legions, community centers, and more. I sought Yoga classes everywhere I went. Eventually, I decided that vinyasa was my preferred style of practice. At the gym and eventually, my teacher's studio, I was the star student. I knew every posture and could flow through the sequences almost flawlessly. Headstands and handstands, arm balances and backward bends were my favorite postures.
Yoga is Wellbeing
I trained to become a Yoga teacher and while doing so learned much about what Yoga really is. When I first began teaching I guided in the style that was most familiar; vinyasa. My teacher and guide helped me to identify what was out of balance in my practice. She suggested I work on alignment. Again, everything changed. I dove deep into study of anatomy and physiology, the body and psychology. The way in which I practiced and taught changed. I started to identify my own imbalances and began to help others recognize theirs.
The more I practiced, the slower my asana and the more intentional my practice became. I was less interested in the athleticism of the practice. Caring for my body, mind, emotions, and energy became my focus. I wanted to do things that will keep me feeling well in every way.
Yoga as We Age
Approaching the practice with awareness of self opened new doors. Clients with specific needs including anxiety, Rheumatoid Arthritis, cancer remission, spinal issues, Multiple Sclerosis, Sciatic pain, recent surgery, Ankylosing Spondylosis, Scoliosis, overweight, as well as other minor and major limitations began seeking me out. Practicing therapeutic Yoga includes more than just addressing bodily needs. We attend to every aspect of ourselves.
Teaching people of all ages with all types of needs enlightened me to the importance of Yoga as we age. Whether 19 or 99, Yoga is accessible and available for all. Every posture can be varied or adjusted to serve individual needs. Pain can be managed, discomforts reduced, healing increased, and wellbeing created through the movements, breath work, and mindful practices of Yoga.
Yoga as a Challenge
My specialty is my ability to vary and create practices in the moment that serve the needs of whomever is in front of me. This skill came naturally while I was training to teach Yoga and has continued to develop over time.
Anyone who sticks with the practices I guide will observe that we are always working through the various aspects of postures before we actually get into them. The pose itself may seem easy, at first, but when we break it down a new appreciation for the subtleties of each position can be developed.
Practicing in a variety of locations can create challenges that you may never have expected. Your ability to focus, balance, breathe, and access the practice can be effected by where you are, who you are with, and the surface upon which you practice.
Challenge yourself by creating variation in your practice and learn to serve your own needs as they continually change over time. Keep practicing Yoga, everywhere, and experience how it always provides you with exactly what you need no matter your age.
Join a scheduled practice, request a private session, or deepen your individual practice now and as you age. Learn more about how we can help at LakeTahoeYoga.com.