Sunday, September 2, 2012

Yoga is Hard Work

Most of the time new students come to yoga because they want to make a change in their lives, sometimes they come because they are curious, but occasionally they come because someone more or less strong armed them into coming.

I think this is what happened the other day with two new students. It was obvious pretty much from the start who was who in this duo.  I did my best to offer them both modifications for the poses to help them enjoy the experience.  Student A was appreciative, Student B....well....not so much. I gently reminded the entire class that child's pose was always an option as a modification as it is in any class we teach at Santosha.

As the class was practicing Navasana (boat pose) I offered a suggestion to Student B and she looked at me and said that it was hard and she wasn't going to do it.  OK, not a problem, after all it was her practice. I spoke to them after class, as I try to do with all new students, did they have any questions and reminded them to use their free week to try out other classes and teachers.  I could be wrong, but I don't think I will see Student B anytime soon.

Yep, Yoga is hard work.  We move, breathe and engage muscles that haven't been awake in a long time.  But let's look at this from another angle. What's harder, starting to take care of yourself now while you can still get up and down off the floor or having someone help you in and out of chairs because you have no core strength to lift yourself up?  Lengthen and strengthening your upper body now or hurting your shoulder when you lift a gallon of milk out of the fridge, increasing your stamina now or getting winded walking from your home to the car 20 feet away. These are not fictional situations, these happen to people I love everyday. 

My mom (whom I love dearly) is 87 years old and never has taken care of herself.  I asked her why recently and she said that she didn't think she would live this long.  But it really should be about the quality of the life we live since none of us are guaranteed the length.  It's about the "dash" in between the dates on our tombstone.

Elections are coming up again and with it the talk of health care reform.  But bottom line it is our responsibility to "reform" our health.  My mom says that she never thought that she would age this way, with so many limitations on her body.  But she didn't do anything to prevent it.

Do I know for sure that my practice of yoga will assure me a long, healthy life? Of course not, but all the studies are showing me that it really makes a difference.  Who is going to push you in your wheel chair, drive you to doctor appointments, and remind you to take your daily medications? 

I really didn't mean to get this preachy, I was just trying to make the point that yes yoga is sometimes hard to do, but the benefits are amazing.  For those of us who are mom's, was pregnancy, labor and delivery hard?  It is sometimes hard to be a parent or spouse.  Yes, yes, yes.  But the benefits are worth the labor.  We do things that are hard all day long that don't make us a better person, why not try doing something that does.  Start to take care of yourself now.  Walk, bike, swim, do yoga and.....just breathe.

P.S. I want to share a link with you from the Natural Awakening Magazine . It’s article (starts on page 31)  of the importance of breath and injury free yoga. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment