Yoga Throughout Life

by | Oct 24, 2019 | spiritual growth

Poses can be challenging

I believe my first class was in the late 1960’s. My sister in law invited me along to a classical yoga class at Mornington, Victoria. Some of the poses were quite challenging, but I found the meditation practice at the end most beneficial, as, at the time, I suffered from anxiety. The years, or decades, since then, I dropped in to classes on and off, both overseas and in Australia.

Serious return to practice began in my late 40’s and 50’s, for a similar reason…the stress of life, and also the change of life…aka..’the pause’! By my early 50’s I decided yoga practice was definitely going to be a constant part of my life. By 60, I undertook yoga teacher training with a wonderful yogini, and since then, teach a few gentle yoga rhythm classes each week designed for people who may have had injuries in the past, and present, or have struggled with the concept of turning up to a class, and, for whatever reason, felt self-conscious.

I am on the kinder side of 70

For those that know me, I am not your picture-book -classical -lithe -body-super human. I am pushing 70 years; short; a little on the round-side and have a quirky sense of humor! My belief is, that anyone can participate in a yoga class with due care and attention to their own physicality, shape, age and background. Yoga is a whole body healing: physically, emotionally and spiritually. Poses not only strengthen our muscles and bones but stimulate our blood cells, lymphatic and endocrine systems to name but a few.

Learning to honour our breath we move gently into our poses, and move ourselves gently through our own unique and beautiful journey, while calming our mind. Shavasana (my favorite pose), the part where we relax, usually lying down, at the end of class helps to bring everything together, a time to rest our body and mind and come fully into the moment.

In summary, some the benefits of yoga are:

Yoga minimises the physical effects of stress on your body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga will help lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your body and helps to ease symptoms of anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.

Other physical benefits of yoga include:

  • increases flexibility.
  • increases muscle strength and tone.
  • improves breathing practices, energy and vitality.
  • assists in maintaining a balanced metabolism.
  • assists in weight reduction.
  • enhances cardio and circulatory health.
  • improves athletic performance.
  • helps protect us from injury.

Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills, and enhancing a more positive outlook on life. In essence, Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being.

Enjoy the journey …

Namaste

Chris Ward

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