Anger I Cant Believe I Let Myself Get This Out Of Shape
After about a week in Bali, my focus shifted a bit. Instead of saying to myself, I cant believe Im this out of shape, I found myself thinking, I cant believe I let myself get this out of shape.
Its a subtle distinction, but, one that was quite painful for me. I started to think about all of the decisions that I had made in the past what I ate, how much I exercised and how I treated my body.
Fortunately, I had a great yoga teacher, Eka, who helped me through this stage. He reminded me that yoga is all about learning to accept ourselves. It is also about learning to own our decisions and our unique background.
No two people step into a yoga class with the same body. We all have unique challenges and opportunities. Part of the magic of yoga is learning to understand your own body. If you dont, nobody else will!
Do I Need To Practice Yoga In Order To Teach Children Yoga
You dont need prior experience in yoga to bring your children to class. If you have a positive intention to share yoga with children, you learn everything you need to build your knowledge and experience enough to enjoy and share yoga with kids successfully. Ideally, you practice yoga, since the more you practice something, the more experience you have to share. But, that said, when you come to class with a baby or young child, you will learn and know how to do yoga that is most appropriate for them. Plus, if you forget, the children will remember! When you drop off an older child, a tween or teen at class, it is not necessary to know yoga yourself, but the more you are interested in it, the more likely they will want to continue. Also, don’t be surprised if they come home and teach you yoga!
Understand The Core Of Yoga
Yoga is not about extreme flexibility or contorting your muscles and spine into fancy shapes.
It’s about breathing, finding inner strength through meditation, and creating freedom in the body with basic yoga poses.
It’s truly that simple.
So dont worry about losing weight or bending over backwards . Instead, understand that yoga is a process and a lifestyle. The physical practice is only one of the eight limbs of yoga.
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It Will Improve Your Posture
Yoga is pretty effective at helping you develop some premium, proper posture, since a lot of the breathing and seated positions require a straight back for proper effect. Good posture is definitely going to develop during yoga practice.
Youll start off slouching and slumped, reflecting the figure of someone who spends most of the day at their deskbelieve me, Ive been thereand yoga will help sculpt your back into the kind of poised posture thatll make you walk taller and feel immensely better about it.
Do I Need To Do Yoga If I Bring My Child To Class
Yes. If you have a baby, it is most helpful to work one-on-one with your child, who needs you there to feel safe enough to enjoy and explore. Also, if you are in class with younger children, please participate as best you can. One way your child learns is from you modeling appropriate actions and behaviors, so the best gift you can give your child in a yoga class is just to BE there with them and try your best; the same thing we ask of the child. Children’s yoga classes are really aimed at the child, so there is no pressure on the parent or adult. The teacher guides the child and the parents go along, using positive reinforcement to support the child.
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Exercise Mind And Body With Yoga And Mindful Movement
Could yoga be the missing piece to your whole body health puzzle? Many people experience increased energy and lower stress when practicing yoga regularly.
Most people experience increased energy and an improvement in overall well-being as physical activity becomes routine. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can help relieve depression and may even lower your risk of developing it.
But what if youre not the active type, are older or have physical limitations? You can still add healthy movement to your life.
The National Institutes of Health describes yoga, tai chi and qi gong as centuries-old, mind-body practices. They involve specific postures and movements combined with mental focus, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation. Other forms of fitness like walking, running, dancing, and even hula-hooping can also be done mindfully as a form of meditation.
International Yoga Day 2021
The 7th;International Yoga Day is being celebrated on June 21, 2021, with a theme of;’Yoga for wellness’. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, medical science has stressed on the benefits of the practice in immunity building as the world celebrates;International Day of Yoga digitally for the second consecutive year. According to the United Nations UN), this year’s theme is relevant “for our times in a society still recovering from the impact of the Coronavirus disease pandemic”. Apart from its physical benefits, the UN has also shared the mental health benefits of Yoga saying that it can help people deal with depression,;anxiety and alleviate stress levels. The day will be observed in nearly 190 countries.
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You Can Modify Your Practice Or Focus On Different Elements
A yoga asana practice may evolve from a very traditional movement-based practice to a more modified practice, with variations to allow for adaptations or conditions in the body, or to a practice in a chair or with other support, explains McCarthy. As people age, they also become more interested in the meditation and breathing practices of yoga. It can be a more spiritual practice, not just physical.
Yoga can be done anywhere: at a studio, gym, or even in the comfort of your own home. Modifications allow you to customize a yoga class to fit your needs, and some common yoga props, like blocks and straps, can help any practitioner explore various yoga postures. However, it might feel intimidating to figure out how exactly to tailor yoga poses, especially if you have arthritis or osteoporosis, and thats where an experienced teacher can be a huge asset, notes McCarthy.
Find a teacher that has an inviting language to their cueing, says McCarthy. It should not feel competitive when you practice with others. The teacher can provide cues to use props to help modify or do a modified option of the traditional pose. Remind yourself that gentle or chair yoga does not always mean easy. It may be simple, but not necessarily easy. These classes can offer a lot of options for people to work at their own personal level and do what they can do, depending on their physical condition.
Acceptance The Journey Is The Goal
Over the next 4 weeks, I spent a lot of time thinking about the advice that I received from my family and all of the wonderful yoga teachers that I had the opportunity to work with. And, of course, I continued to do yoga every day.
Eventually, I started to realize that I win just by showing up and putting my heart and soul into my practice.
As I sit here, cup of steaming green tea in hand, its hard for me to relate to the emotions that I felt in my first few weeks in Bali.
Did I achieve my goals? Yes and no.
Physically, I still have a long way to go. There are many poses that I would still love to be able to do, not because they look good, but, because they are additional tools to help me connect with my body.
Emotionally, I couldnt be happier with the process that I have made. Learning to reconnect with my body has exposed hidden wells of strength that I could have only dreamed of a few months ago.
Yes, I have more energy. Yes, I feel less stiff and more flexible. But, more importantly, I feel more like my true self than I have in decades.
Its only been 8 weeks, but, I can see that gentle yoga will always be a part of my life. I cant wait to see what the next 8 years will bring!
Have you started your yoga journey yet? If not, what is holding you back? If so, did you go through any of the stages that I went through? Or, was it all smooth sailing for you? Please join the conversation!
Let’s Have a Conversation!
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It Can Develop Your Physical And Mental Strength
Another side effect of yoga is that it will help you develop some truly incredible mental and physical strength. The whole point of yoga is to work on your bodys strength so that you can sit for longer in meditation, and the physical investment in the stretches and positions ensures that youll experience plenty of physical strength benefits as a result.
The breathing exercises can improve your lung capacity, and lunges and stretches can increase your core strength as well as every muscle you can think of; meanwhile, the exercises force you to focus on the moment, and during meditation, to clear your mind, which helps alleviate stress and improve your mental health.
The 5 Stages Of Starting Yoga As An Older Adult
Many years ago, I had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth Kubler Ross. As you may know, in her book, On Death and Dying, Elizabeth described the 5 stages of grief: anger, denial, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance.
Like most people, for many years, I thought of Elizabeths framework mostly in terms of its impact on the lives of people coming to terms with a terminal illness.
More recently, I have come to realize that the 5 stages that Elizabeth described can be applied to so many situations. For example, the stages that we go through after a divorce follow a similar pattern.
Now, after 8 weeks in Bali, I can see that these same stages apply to my yoga journey. Over the last 2 months, I have cried, hidden myself away, begged my teachers to take it easy on me, temporarily given up and, finally, learned to love myself just a little more.
It has been an amazing ride and Id love to share with you a little more about my journey these last 8 weeks. I hope that my experiences will give you the confidence to give yoga a shot. If I can do it, you can too!
Please dont be discouraged when you read about the beginning of my personal journey. As you will see, by the end, gentle yoga became a vital part of my life. In fact, I cant imagine going for even a single day without it!
Here are the 5 stages that I have gone through over the last 8 weeks as I learned to make gentle yoga a part of my life.
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How To Get Started
Starting yoga is easy! Nearly 10% of Americans, of all ages, currently do yoga, so youre not alone.
Id recommend you start out by taking a beginners yoga class with a qualified instructor. This will give you the opportunity to learn how to do each yoga pose with proper form, which is essential to get the maximum benefit from each pose and to avoid injury.
You should also take a yoga class that includes the full gamut of techniques like poses, breathing and meditation. Doing so will ensure that you maximize the physical, cardiovascular and mental benefits of yoga.
If you have any preexisting conditions like a sore back, arthritis, torn rotator cuff, ACL or MCL sprains etc, its important to tell your instructor in advance. A good instructor will be able to amend poses for you to avoid unnecessary or dangerous strain to affected areas that might aggravate your injury.
Solution #2: Just Take 10 Minutes
Not ready to give up your cardio? Then shorten it a few minutes and try our 10 Minute Vinyasa Flow Sequence.
You can accomplish all you need for better flexibility in 10 minutes or less! A little bit of stretching every day truly works to regain flexibility.
Or try the workout below that shows you step by step good overall stretches for everyone!
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Core Strength And Back Pain
If youve ever experienced back pain, youve probably been given the advice to strengthen your core. That wisdom is logicalbuilding up the muscles in your trunk, back, abdomen, hips, and legs means that your spine is better supported.;How yoga can help: Any new movement or exercise that you add to your daily life will likely result in a stronger core; as you move your body in new ways, your major stabilizing muscles have to adapt. Yoga offers specific poses for core strength, too.
What Happens To Endurance As We Age
Just as muscle mass declines with age, so does endurance. The good news is that the body also responds to endurance fitness training such as walking. Any activity that increases heart rate and breathing for an extended period is considered endurance exercise. In addition to walking, swimming, cycling, dancing, and tennis are all endurance activities.
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Seek Out A Qualified Teacher
It’s important to find a trained instructor who understands the unique challenges faced by the 55-plus crowd. Yoga Alliance maintains a voluntary registry of yoga teachers throughout the U.S. who meet certain standards. Also, Yoga for Seniors offers a directory of instructors who have undergone special training to enable them to adapt yoga programs specifically for older adults.
Ask potential teachers how long they’ve been leading classes and whether they have any experience teaching seniors or people with health issues. If possible, observe an actual class to get a sense of the teacher’s techniques. And once you choose an instructor, be sure to tell him or her about any physical limitations you have, such as arthritis, balance problems, back pain, or high blood pressure.
Tim Seutter: Yoga Is Something Anyone Can Practice And You Can Start At Any Age
Are you on the yoga bandwagon yet? Yoga is exploding around the world and if you haven’t started, you should.
Between 2012 and 2016 the number of Americans doing yoga grew by 50 percent. Although 72 per cent of people doing yoga are female, the number of men doing yoga increased from 4 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2016. It is estimated that 300 million people, around the globe, practice some form of yoga.
Unfortunately, some people think you need to be young, gymnastics-flexible, and have a certain body type to practice yoga. This couldn’t be further from the truth. According to American statistics, the most active yogis are aged 30-49 and the second most active age group is over 50s. Yoga is something that anyone can practice, and you can start at any age.
People have started yoga for a variety of reasons, but the five most popular reasons have been: to improve flexibility , for stress relief , for general fitness , to improve overall health , and for physical fitness .
Yoga is becoming an integral way to improve your health and well-being and to reduce stress. When you practice yoga, you learn to focus on the present, clear the mind, and be focused on you. Through this process, and with consistent practice, you can learn the power yoga has to help you live your best life.
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Yoga For Seniors: How To Get Started
You’re never too old to reap the rewards of yoga. For seniors who are looking for a safe, effective way to enhance their physical health and overall wellness, the stretching, breathing, and meditation practices of yoga can be a great solution. In fact, as you will see, doing yoga regularly can result in a host of benefits for older adults, from greater flexibility and improved balance to lower stress and better sleep.
It’s no wonder, then, that yoga is becoming increasingly popular among seniors. The 2016 Yoga in America Study found that nearly 14 million Americans over the age of 50 practiced yoga that year. That was a significant jump from the four million who did so in 2012.
This article outlines the many benefits of senior yoga and describes several of the best types of yoga for older men and women . It also offers information about basic poses and explains what you should do before you begin any yoga routine. And it even provides examples of helpful books, videos, and DVDs as well as tips on how to find appropriate classes.
Problem: It Hurts To Stretch
So you havent stretched in a while and the first thing you do is get down on the floor and stretch and stretch hard! Go big or go home, right? Wrong!
A big turnoff to stretching is pain. When you go too deep or too far into a stretch, it can cause pain and make you not want to revisit that stretch again.
This over-stretching is not only painful but its not effective either.
What happens when you overstretch is something called the stretch reflex. You go too deep, it hurts, and the muscles surrounding the area you are working on tighten up to mask the pain you feel in the stretch.
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Find A Class You Love
Whether you practice yoga at home using one of the best workouts apps or practice at a studiofinding a class you love is so important for your journey.;
If you dont connect with the teacher or space, it could taint your yoga experience and you wont want to keep practicing. Its so important to feel comfortable, safe, and inspired in your practice, Alana tells us.;
Just like in school, we all connect with different teachers that help us to better learn and grow, and its the same in yoga, Rebecca explains.;