Find Your Calm Place by Robin Trimingham
I have something a little different for you today. As you know at Olderhood we don't often recommend specific products or services, and when we do, it is because we believe in and / or use the product being mentioned, and not because we are receiving any form of payment or endorsement fee. That said, I will confess to being a fan of gentle yoga for maintaining physical strength, flexibility, peace of mind and improving lung function.
I will also admit that I have struggled with yoga in the past because my once athletic brain is easily frustrated by the fact that I am no longer the most flexible girl on a mat, and I have found some classes either moved too fast for me or were down right dangerous. (There really should be more categories than beginner and advanced - I learned the hard way that some sessions should be labeled "yogis only"). Enough said.
Once I recovered from the intimidation of being in the "wrong" class, I decided to do my homework and discovered that there are in fact several different types of yoga and the trick is to find a teacher you like who is leading a class which follows the type of yoga (or methodology) you are most suited to given: your age, fitness level, temperament, and what you want to get out of the experience.
I tried several different types of yoga sessions on YouTube and discovered that I am personally most comfortable with "sadhana yoga" and I am not a particular fan of hot yoga or anything that moves too quickly.
According to yogapedia.com the word sadhana means "the discipline of routine spiritual practice and the routine surrendering of the ego through activities such as meditation, yoga, chanting or prayer". Originally practicing sadhana was more of a spiritual discipline which meant getting up two hours before dawn; but lately the practice has become a lot more mainstream with the focus centering more on finding peace by focusing inward and improving strength by focusing on your breath and pushing your edge in a slow controlled manner.
I find yoga very useful for letting go of problems or the myriad of other things that seem to clutter up my mind because the poses and breathing exercises force you to focus exclusively on the task at hand.
You can click here to view a sample of the sort of workout that I am referring to, but, as with all forms of exercise, check with your doctor before trying anything like this if you have any health concerns or have not exercised regularly in some time.
Also, keep in mind that yoga is an evolving practice that is different for every person, and that even experts still have poses that they struggle with, or areas of their body that they are working on. With yoga, practice does not make perfect, it simply opens doors to deeper healing and deeper awareness, which means that it is something that anyone can benefit from.
By Robin Trimingham