yoga benefits

Yoga – looking backward, looking back forward

Last month I wrote a newsletter outlining some of my plans for change in 2019.  This time of year always brings me to look back and to look forward.  Here is the link to that newsletter – have a read.  It may provide you with more context for the rest of this blog.

 

Why I chose yoga

In that newsletter I mentioned that yoga is what I have chosen as my one big change for the coming year.

I have dabbled for some time with yoga.  I have a long history of team sport (netball especially) and cardiovascular exercise such as spin classes.  But as I age, I am more inclined to increase the flexibility and suppleness of my body and to address the speeding of thoughts in my mind.  Yoga seems to fit the bill.

I started with a five week course for beginners.  I found the course challenging enough to maintain my interest but also not so difficult that it felt like a mountain to climb. This is a great article outlining just what yoga could do for you.

Where to start with yoga practice?

I think starting with classes is essential.  In a class small enough that the yoga leader can adjust your poses and take note of individual weaknesses and injuries.  I don’t recommend starting your yoga practice by following Youtube tutorials.  Once your practice is more established, I think the online tutorials have their place (remember I am no expert!).  In scuttling around YouTube I found lots of videos (an example is here) which show how classic yoga moves can be adapted.  I have found them really useful as I have a weak left wrist.

Daily, weekly?

I am cultivating a daily yoga routine as I mentioned in another blog as part of my morning routine.

But the big change for me has been to stop membership of my local gym and instead to focus on weekly yoga classes at a yoga-specific venue.  My teacher is Imogen Tagney – she’s mentioned in that newsletter at the top of this blog.  She is compassionate, attentive and warm hearted.  Just what you need if you are starting out on your very own yoga journey.

I feel more in control.  Like I am steadily working toward something I have wanted for ages.  A daily mindful exercise.  All other thoughts flee as I concentrate on my breathing.  The positioning of my feet or arms.  How extended is my back?  Could I stretch my neck a little more?  And all the treadmill thinking/worrying/planning for the day ahead of me dissolves away.