Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Why I Practice Yoga

I still walk for exercise and (when in Florida) ride my bike, but lately my exercise of choice is yoga.

That is certainly not because I am so flexible that I can twist and bend and stand on my head.  I started taking yoga exactly because my muscles are tight and inflexible.  Slowly, I do notice changes.  I am a little more flexible now.

For me, the biggest benefit has been just being more aware of my body and how it moves through space.  I think about standing tall and keeping my head up.  My posture is better.  My breathing is deeper.  My balance--well, not perfect, but I do recover if I trip instead of falling.  I don't have significant aches and pains.

I have tried different types of yoga.  Some types are physically challenging and others are very calming, relaxing, and restorative.  I have found that I really like the tranquil feeling after practicing.  There is a good balance between the physical and mental--has to be good for body and mind.

And I do love the trappings--the chimes, the essential oils, the Hindu symbols and music, Tibetan singing bowls, the chanting, the Sanskrit names for the poses, the talk of chakras. There is a spirituality that appeals to me on a deeply metaphorical level.

Finally, let's face it, the clothes are really comfy.




11 comments:

  1. I suspect that the spiritual appeal of yoga and its trappings is what really makes it so beneficial physically for you. Strengthen and relax the spirit, can the body but not follow through?

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  2. I also enjoy yoga. My classes do not have the trappings - chimes, oils, etc. - but the meditation, music, movement calm the mind and restore the body. I stick to the slower yoga geared to older bodies.

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  3. Oh how I miss the availability of Yoga here. I remember that it was both relaxing and invigorating though the relaxing part usually won out and by the end of the class, someone was always snoring which made the rest of us laugh.

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  4. I have always loved taking yoga classes, but lately I've been doing poses at home because I can't commit to a series of classes. A PT recommended several Yoga poses to me years ago to strengthen my core and stretch my back - I do them every morning. They only take about 10 minutes.

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  5. I've always envied those who enjoy yoga. I *want* to, but haven't been able to, at least not the one type I tried. Perhaps I need to look more for the "calming, relaxing, and restorative" type you mention. I could use a little more of that sort of thing in my life. And comfy clothes to boot!

    Enjoy your day, Olga!

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  6. The last time I tried yoga my knees were just getting cranky and I found it uncomfortable. Fast forward to the present and I think I'm so used to cranky knees that I could figure out a work around. I believe that you are right though. Keeping limbs and muscles flexible is very important.

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  7. Sounds wonderful. I take a piyo class which is a combination of pilates and yoga. Probably not as relaxing as the class you are taking, but I love how it makes me feel. You are right; the flexibility, balance and strength are critically important as we age. Yoga will definitely do that for you :-)

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  8. I've been doing Hatha yoga stretches since 1975. It helps keep my back flexible and my arthritis under control (no pills). But I have to do it every single day. Or else. I'll feel the pain. :(
    Besides, doing yoga is the best part of my day!

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  9. I used to do yoga. I haven't done it in ages. I'm just not good in groups these days!

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  10. I had just a few yoga lessons in Illinois, but don't have a place here in Hawaii to go to. I'll just have to be content with my tai chi.

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  11. One of these days I am going to find time to try yoga but until then I will just dress the part!

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