Yoga for You

I start back to yoga tomorrow!!! Yippee!! Except for scattered classes here and there I have not been in yoga in months. My yogini had a baby and some legal nastiness which I will not comment on. Thumper’s mother had it right: “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I am often not that kind but this is a public forum.

But yoga! First of all, yoga is not a religion and is technically not associated with any religion. Does it come from the same geographic area as Buddhism? Yep. Does it use meditative practices similar to Buddhism? Yep. But yoga is not religion.

Technically, Buddhism is not a religion. There is no deity in Buddhism. No deity? Not a religion. Learn something new everyday.

I make this point because I have known people who have shied away and denied themselves the benefits of yoga because they thought it was anti – fill in the blank with your religion. That is too bad because yoga has great benefits. Cardiovascular fitness? Check. Strength? Check. Flexibility. Check. And the one I want to talk about: balance. Check. Check. Check.

I am balance challenged. I have always been balance challenged. When the other kids walked the fallen tree across the creek, I scooted across on my butt. I sometimes wonder what my balance would be like if I did not dance and do yoga. I keep up on my practice because I do not want to find out! It is a scary thought.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention falls by older adults cost over $30 billion in 2010 alone. Falls steal your independence and can lead to early death.

Why am I talking about yoga and balance and falls on an AMD website? Because falls and vision loss go together. Poor balance and vision loss go together as well. It is a nasty little triad.

Yoga is a great way to improve balance. And it doesn’t even need to be challenging poses on the floor. There are many yoga asanas (poses or position) that can be modified to be done in a chair.

You can find websites and YouTube posts of short, chair yoga classes. Unless you have a background in yoga and know how yoga and your body get along, I would not recommend them.

What I would recommend is a class with an experienced instructor. For example my yogini is a ‘500 hour’ instructor. That means she has 500 hours of training from an accredited program under her belt. That is experienced. Someone like my yogini can help you learn to do asanas correctly and help you modify them according to your needs.

Classes have other benefits. Unless you are independently wealthy and can afford private lessons, yoga classes have other people in them. Get you out and socializing. Get you laughing.

A requirement in our classes by the way. You fall out of a pose, you laugh. All of these are good things I covered in other pages.

I am impatiently waiting to get back on my mat. I will have the funniest looking balance poses of the whole class but, that is alright. This is yoga practice not yoga perfect. Having better balance is important.

Next: KEEP MOVING THROUGH HELL

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