What else you need to know about yoga? Before you race off to get that new yoga mat and yoga shorts, there are some other things you should keep in mind.
Types of yoga: There are many different types of yoga. Hatha yoga is a gentle, slow-moving form of yoga and a good fit for beginners. Similarly, kripalu yoga involves gentle poses and meditative techniques. Older adults who are particularly frail might benefit most from chair yoga, which is offered at many seniors and community centres.
Terminology: Don’t get discouraged if you don’t know all the proper terms. Instructors (also known as yogis) usually use both English and Indian terms for poses and techniques.
You’ll learn the following: pranayama (breath work), asana (movement), dhyana (meditation) and namaste (I bow to your soul) — instructors and students say this to each other at the end to formally close practice and show respect.
Modifying poses: Some poses can be challenging even for regular yoga-goers. The key is to modify poses so they are more comfortable for you to continue.
Know your limits, but also challenge yourself. If you experience any pain, you should stop.
It is advisable to consult your physician before beginning any fitness regime. When you have the green light, speak to the instructor and explain any health issues you have so they may offer modified poses.
Now you’re ready to explore the wondrous world of yoga.
Yoga is a democratic form of exercise. You’ll find lots of people from all walks of life enjoying practice. And don’t give up if you don’t like it at first. If you try it a few times and allow yourself to be fully immersed in this peaceful form of exercise, you really will see a difference in your physical and mental states.
Michele Cauch is the executive director of SageHealth Network, an agency dedicated to promoting seniors’ sexual health and positive. Cauch holds a master’s degree in social work specializing in older adults and end-of-life care. Cauch has been featured on various programs and publications. Visit www.sagehealthnetwork.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 647-831-6630.