Many wonderful Yoga studios with the group classes continue to draw more and more people into the practice. From kids to seniors and men attending Yoga, we are shattering the myth that Yoga is only for the young and fit. We are hearing the message everywhere that Yoga is for everybody and indeed it is!
However, not everyone who would benefit from the practice is convinced that they too can join the practice. The population that still stays away is the one with physical limitations, chronic illness. This is where the traditionally developed postures that were developed for a teenager become on obstacle to those wanting to access it for deep healing and restoration. Yoga was not developed as a group exercise. The teachings were passed on from the teacher to student when the teacher felt the student was ready and was done individually. The evolution of Yoga into group exercise has spread its practice and brought health, consciousness and equanimity into the world.
Even when there are more and more practitioners of yoga with over 30 percent of practitioners over the age of 50, there are many who fear Yoga or chalk it up to a practice not meant for them. Perhaps it is not. Everything is not for everybody. However, in the face of chronic conditions and limitations, the question is not whether this practice is for you, rather it is more about aging well and disease free and Yoga with its vast application and mind/body integration is one heck of a modality to help you do just that.
Many in their minds equate aging with moving less and less, living a sedentary life style and loose their purpose. ” What’s the point now?” as I have heard many times. That is exactly the point, to rediscover yourself through movement, live fully and make every moment count.
In the yogic philosophy, the older years are indeed golden. This is the time where we enjoy the fruits of our labor, share our wisdom with the younger generation and fulfill those dreams that were put on the back burner to raise a family or career. But without a fully functioning body, sadness and depression set in. It does not need to be this way!
This is where Yoga therapy and specialized studios can put the life back in your time left, renew the hope of fulfilling your dreams and make the older years truly golden. Don’t think main stream Yoga studios and classes. Instead, think about a practice this is custom designed for you so you too can move your body in spite of the limitations, you too can feel well and fight those chronic conditions that you have been dealing with for years.
Using the physical to connect with our deeper truth and benefitting the physical at the same time is quite an extraordinary practice. Strong and supple body, a conscious mind and a spiritual vision is the promise of Yoga practice. Any physical movement is a great medicine for the mind, but the Yoga practice does that more specifically and scientifically.
When the postures create hesitation, fear, that is when it is necessary to broaden the deepen the horizon of Yoga. There are a countless ways to move into the body to address physical limitations and help you enjoy the physical activities that you once did. Yoga therapy is not about postures, rather it is about making you more mobile and pain free; it is not about perfecting the posture but to find a way to move into your perfect body.
Life changes in so many ways as we get older; family dynamics, changing bodies, change in the home environment. For many, this change can lead to anxiety and depression and isolation. So, to antidote that, it is crucial that we reach out, take care of ourselves and reinvent our life. It is more important to take ownership of our health in the older years as the quality of our life depends on it.