Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Healing With Yoga

I am not a doctor and I’ve never played one on TV. However, I can prescribe the practice of yoga for anybody that wants to find physical and mental healing.  This is from my own humble experience. And there are schools of yoga to accommodate any level of ability and any physical limitations.  There is no one size fits all for this ancient discipline; but there is something for everyone.  Anybody with an open mind can benefit from the practice 

When I first started practicing yoga about nine years ago, I was completely out of shape, feeling stress from less than brilliant life decisions, without stamina or balance and experiencing low back problems on a regular basis. Really, I didn’t have to lift something to feel pain in my back. I once bent over to pick up an empty trash bag and had difficulty standing up. It was impossible to find a position that didn’t cause excruciating pain. It was clear that if I wanted to live the next 60 years with joy and good health I was going to have to do something.

At the age of 44  I made the momentous decision to get healthy mentally and physically.  Knowing that I do not have the self -discipline to exercise at home – i.e. the treadmill, Nordic track ski machine as clotheslines-  I joined a fitness center that offered a variety of classes including Pilates, body sculpt, a step class, core strengthening and yoga. I’d always thought yoga was too New Age for me; so it took me some time to migrate to a yoga class. 

But, the schedules changed monthly and as one who had a 3-hour round trip commute at the time, my workout schedule was organized around my work scheduled.  I went to my first yoga class because it was convenient – on Saturday morning.  And was I shocked. This was described as power yoga – a modern interpretation of yoga that left me drenched in sweat and struggling not to collapse. But, I made it through the class and kept returning. Eventually, I got stronger. My balance improved.  And then I realized my back no longer hurt. 

Since that time I’ve moved to another state, found a studio with a dynamic instructor who has helped me appreciate the spiritual aspect of the practice, and discovered a community of like minded people that share the same celebration of life.  I will comment on my progress in my practice and the wonderful community among those who practice this ancient meditation in motion in future posts.

But this article is to emphasize the physical healing of the practice  Check out the magazine Yoga Journal and see that this is a practice for a lifetime that we can continue to appreciate all the days of our lives.

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