Autumn Yoga Shala

Getting older is a natural part of life. Not only do we get older, but often, we have older parents or elders to care for. What is certain is that we all want good health and a quality of life for ourselves, and for the elders in our care. However, the pressure of modern day life and work takes its toll on our health, especially 40s onwards.

The nature of work which essentially involves long hours of sitting, the lack of exercise and healthy eating habits can lead to issues such as muscular shortening, tightening and weakening; osteoporosis; joint deterioration; loss of flexibility; lack of balance, and so on. Our sedentary lifestyle plays a large part in conditions such as type II diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, increased body fat, low back pain, breathing difficulties, vision problems, chronic pain, inability to sleep and so on.

These issues are compounded and get more complex as one gets into the 50’s and 60’s; and can lead to associated risks such as falling, greater injury when one falls, slower recovery, medical complications and so on. This is not what we want for the best years of our life or for the life of our loved ones!

Yoga –especially designed for adults and older adults can help!

Yoga is especially suited to work with adults and older people, especially those who’ve not had an active exercise program as part of their lifestyle. It is a wellness journey that incorporates exercises (asanas) that are especially designed to work with the whole body, mind and spirit. The synergy that comes with integrating body, mind and spirit (using the breath) sets it apart from any other physical exercise program. The many general and specific health benefits of practicing yoga are currently validated by contemporary scientific research. Research points to a few of the benefits:

  • Getting better quality of sleep, including reducing the time it takes to fall asleep
  • Improvement in hand grip strength in those with arthritis
  • Better control of type II diabetes and pulmonary function
  • Decrease in blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Helps offset middle-age weight gain
  • Improved mood and reduced anxiety levels
  • Aids those suffering with chronic pain
  • Alleviates breathing difficulties for bronchial asthmatics

Our students and our Co-travellers

We work with adults who want to make yoga a part of their lifestyle. They do not compete in a large class to have the most flexible bodies or do the most complicated poses (asanas). Their focus is on developing their individual physical strength and resilience. They work on specific physical challenges, and/or stress, anxiety, emotional turbulence and so on. They gain the therapeutic benefits that are best suited to their individual needs. They are taught in a way that respects their maturity and the current limitations of their body with sensitivity and understanding.

Yet, they are challenged to reach their potential!

The environment is supportive, fun and friendly – not another space to compete with others. The practice ethos is on integrating body, mind, and spirit in a way that draws on ancient traditions combined with contemporary scientific research. People from all faiths and spiritual orientations are comfortable as no religious tradition or teaching is imposed.

Working with adults (especially mature adults and those who’ve  not done much exercise till date) – is special!

Working with adults requires the yoga teacher to be sensitive to age-related physical changes. Adults commonly grapple with stiffness, back and neck pain, weak knees, weak spine, and often lower muscular strength. In addition medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, osteoporosis and so on need to be kept in mind.

Therefore, the sequence of poses (asanas), intensity and pace of the class are slower with much emphasis on correct alignment and safety. In addition, individual needs and conditions needs are taken into account by modifying the asanas to easier versions and the use of props. The length of time an asana is held is reduced till the practitioner’s strength improves.

Contact us if  you’d like to learn Yoga the way it was meant to be taught! Email us at autumnyogashala@gmail.com

References:

http://www.seniorfitness.net/YOGA.htm

http://theyogalunchbox.co.nz/old-yoga-teachers-are-the-best-yoga-teachers/

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/teach/yoga-for-boomers-and-beyond/

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