Yoga – a tool for life for everyone
Yoga is accessible to anyone at any age. Despite trendy studio marketing being full of lithe bodies in pretzel-like poses, tanned and adorned in the latest NY yoga gear, the reality is that most yoga classes are comprised of people with different motivation to practice yoga ranging from: “I felt I needed to do something”, and “My doctor said it would be good for me”, to ”I love the way it make me feels” and “I just love yoga”, with an age profile typically in the range of 20 – 65+.
This is really good news! Yoga is a way of staying holistically healthy for life. There is much talk these days of “the third act” – that glorious time in life when the children are grown up, the mortgage is paid, and it’s now possible to turn our attention to what we’d like to do as opposed to what we have to do. To get the most out of life, and indeed our third act, we need to be fit and healthy. And if that suggestion conjures up images of sweaty brows and lots of huffing and puffing, I hear you. While all forms of exercise are to be respected, as it is so important, there is a system that can (and here’s the science bit)improve flexibility, build stamina, increase muscle strength and tone, improve respiration, energy and vitality, build better balance, calm and centre the nervous system, help relieve anxiety and stress, and help to reduce symptoms of menopause, to name a few. No surprises – it’s called yoga. So there’s all that, and then, and this is the real jewel in the crown: there is how it makes you feel.
Imagine this: you arrive to class, roll out your mat, exchange smiles and ‘hello’s with familiar faces, lie down, close your eyes and, induced by the quietness and the familiar atmosphere, feel yourself beginning to relax. The class starts, the teacher says breathe, inhale deeply, exhale deeply. Your mind begins to slow down, a feeling of calm opens up and you notice that place of silence deep within you that is always there waiting. Next there is stretching – slowly warming up, lengthening the limbs, the spine – now we are on our feet, poses moving with the breath, opening up the body. Nothing beats the feeling of space and satisfaction that comes from stretching every limb and muscle – then back down on to the mat for final relaxation pose shivasana, relaxing deeply, surrendering the weight of your body to the mat, maybe even receive a temple massage with a calming oil. You feel ahhhh, floating, so relaxed, it’s like magic and hard to put into words, but very real.
There are so many different types of yoga out there and as teachers we love to talk yoga and are only too happy to advise students on suitability and choices. Why not take a leap of faith and give it a go even on a drop in basis, you won’t be disappointed. Namaste.
For more information about yoga at the Novara Centre, click here