When I say yoga I don’t mean poses. Yoga is breath work, mindfulness, meditation and reconnection to your true essence. The poses we do help facilitate that and release blockages so we can achieve an energetic flow but it’s practicing quieting the brain that is the true gem of yoga.
Traditionally Yoga is to “yoke” or “union” the self with the universal self or the cosmic consciousness. Simplified it is to connect to your soul or true self. Yoga was developed to help control the “monkey mind.” The sage Patanjali authored the Yoga Sutras, which are 196 verses to follow on the yogic path. This “threads”- which is what sutras translates to are guidelines to follow to live a meaningful and purposeful life.
Only 3 verses are on the physical part of yoga called asana. The poses were developed and used to help open blocks in our body, unwind our spine, release tension in our muscles and help us find comfort in a seated position for meditation. We here is the west became so enamored by the physically of the poses and the lean bendy body one could achieve practicing yoga. The image of yoga is associated with a very young thin flexible body. One of the barriers that cause people to not begin yoga is they feel tight or inflexible. When a new student comes to class they will tell me that they aren’t flexible. I tell them that yoga doesn’t require physical flexibility only mental flexibility.
If you can breath you can practice yoga. As a matter of fact the most advance “pose” you will do in a yoga class is to breathe. Yoga is about working in your comfort zone to help move, lubricate, stretch, strengthen, lengthen and help unblock your energy flow. Anyone and everyone can and should (in my opinion) practice yoga. Yoga can give you many tools to add to your toolbox to help stay happy, healthy and de stressed.
Look for a teacher that is trained in Yoga Therapy or some further education about safety teaching to the aging population, seniors or those with injuries.