Like all, once “cutting-edge” and exotic things, yoga has now become as commonplace as an iPhone. Growing up in the late ‘60s, my first experience with yoga involved my hippie brother’s even hippier girlfriend. Having stayed overnight at their house we punctuated the following day with a Sun Salutation sequence. And to a flexible 17 year old, all that bending and stretching with no apparent purpose seemed bizarre. Why did we have to salute the sun anyway?
A couple of decades later and suddenly yoga classes started cropping up here and there. The media touted the health benefits of the practice, especially since studies had proven that yoga was a drug-free way to lower blood pressure, slow heart rate, reduce stress, increase bone and muscle strength, improve balance etc. So, what with all the good publicity, I gave it another try… and I liked it. I conquered the Downward Dog posture and I even slept better, thanks to the yoga nidra meditation at the end of each session.
Time marches on and I will admit that with age some of the postures become trickier as joints become creakier—Where I once could spring lightly to a standing position after a squat I now need to push myself upright with both hands. And my crossed legs can not now, nor will they ever, settle down flat into a seated lotus pose. Aiyyeee!
Ultimately, the time and effort of a yoga practice is worth it. Apart from discipline, yoga teaches you how to breathe, how to slow down, and how to have compassion for yourself and the less than perfect body that your spirit inhabits.
Yes, you can find a class to take around town. But if you prefer to ease into that Sun Salutation in the privacy of your own living room, check out our instructional DVD’s or books. Namaste.
Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion (book)
Yoga For the Rest of Us Step-by-Step Workout (DVD)
Yoga for Stress Relief (book)
Beginner’s Guide to Yoga (book)
Yoga Wisdom at Work-Finding Sanity off the Mat and on the Job (eBook)
special thanks & attribution to Afseen Family on Flickr for super cute photo usage