I’m 40 years old — I don’t look it or act it, or feel it mentally but my body on the other hand can feel the physical decline. I keep saying that I am not going to grow old gracefully, but I’m not even sure if I know what that means.
Growing up I heard “… Just wait until you’re older.” Well I’m older now and understand that tag line better than ever. I’ll go hiking for an hour and have to soak my feet, or my whole body in hot water. In my twenties I could wake up and go. Now each morning I get a little more stiff and have to stretch my muscles first thing out of bed before I can move properly.
I have taken on yoga as my guide, my personal trainer as a segue into senior-ship. I figure I better start now so I’m not a train wreck at 50. I began practicing yoga in studio classes through the college. After graduation I bought a DVD, Tara Styles, and continued my yoga practice in the living room — I still do this 10 years later.
At first I wasn’t very regular. According to Natasha at yogajournal.com, constancy in this practice is more productive and easier on one’s body. She explains to a reader, “My experience is that the more consistent the practice, the more quickly one moves through the creaky period at the beginning. This is true mentally as well as physically. When we are in a consistent rhythm with our practice, we are more likely to understand its ebb and flow.” But no one is perfect. And in today’s economy, unless you’re an instructor, time is high in demand making it more difficult to always be rigid about a workout.
One thing I have learned over the years of exercise is that it’s OK to take some time off as long as I come back to it. Seems the more I practice this way of thinking, the less I drift from timeouts.
I mainly exercise for health and muscle tone. I do the yoga to connect my mind and body to relieve stress and stimulate oxygen flow — which helps my creative endeavors. Yoga will relax and revive my system at the same time. I am able to be present in my head, heart and soul. My emotions and psyche are at ease, and will stay at ease. Yoga helps me to take on the hardest story to write or the easiest shopping day.
But I don’t forget that yoga can be used for low and high impact workouts making this practice an all-in-one exercise regimen. Yogajournal.com is a great resource for all stages of yogi’s.
“Earth, Wind and Fire”, written by Niika Quistgard, explains State of Balance, the way through which you achieve total spiritual, mental and physical balance.
Yoga can be frustrating though, any exercise can be frustrating if it’s mechanics are mis-understood. Taking the time to receive it as it comes to me will reward my body with inner strengths. Living a healthy lifestyle starts with a conscious choice; healthy living is a balance of diet, oxygen, and exercise. Yogi living is healthy living.