I thought that continuing to be active would protect me from aching joints and sore muscles, but it hasn’t worked out that way. I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck most mornings; comments by friends indicate that I am not alone in this. I still think of stiff muscles, twinges that become sharp pains and loss of flexibility as minor inconveniences, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. My body has definitely let me down, or has it?
I’ve learned through trial and error that a simple exercise routine helps release the tights spots that have been holding me hostage in the mornings. Yoga, I’ve discovered, is the perfect exercise for people who don’t bend quite as easily as they used to.
Yoga has become very popular lately, but it often focuses on young fit individuals instead of on the people who need it most. It is time to forget all of the hype about hot yoga and power yoga and focus on “yoga for the rest of us”. The rest of us include people recovering from injuries, the elderly, those who are overweight and those who are just plain out of shape. The rest of us are the people who need and can do simple modified yoga routines with good results.
Yoga classes are good for you and you can find them everywhere, but if you are stiff and sore in the mornings you might like to do your yoga at home. Take a warm shower, put on comfy sweat pants, and pop a yoga DVD in your recorder.
I have a half of dozen yoga videos that I have collected over the years but most of them are too hard for mere mortals. The very best yoga series for a beginner or any of the “rest of us population” are the ones by Peggy Cappy. They are simple, non-threatening, and suitable for the novice practitioner. They are available from your public library system; if you want your own copy you can find them at bookstores and on-line venues everywhere. You may have seen Peggy already on her PBS specials.
You don’t have to be afraid of yoga. Yoga is not just for young fit individuals. Yoga is not a religion. You don’t have to fold yourself into a pretzel or push your body to do anything it is not comfortable with, and best of all is that yoga is not a competition. Yoga is not hard and you don’t have to do a complicated or a high impact version in order to reap the rewards; chair versions work just fine and you will feel better immediately.
Yoga is a great way to start your day, even if you only have time to do the warm-up segments. Think of yoga as a pill-free way to reduce pain while improving balance and flexibility. What could be better than that?