These days, if you aren't doing some kind of exercise, then you must have been living under a rock, not that its mandatory, however, if you want to find ways to improve your lifestyle, be able to spend quality time with your family, run around after your grandchildren and live comfortably with as much joint mobility and comfort as possible, then its worth trying to get some kind of exercise. Then comes, what shall I do - First off, don't try to do everything, but start slow and take your time finding what works for you.
For more insight into yoga and meditation, Joan gives you the 101 on yoga and meditation and how it also worked and formed a major force in her lifestyle.
People can be drawn to yoga due to physical or emotional pain. I have been practising yoga since 1997, the year I had prolapsed discs in my lower back and couldn’t walk or do anything physical for 3 months. I had months of osteopathy which helped a lot. However, I had to do something else to both strengthen and relax my body and mind to aid my recovery and prevent further injury.
I started a yoga class for beginners and although I was in my mid-20’s, I found it quite difficult. The restrictions in my back made it difficult to get into and hold the yoga postures. I had a wonderful teacher who was half Greek, half German so although she was very precise, shewas also a lot of fun. Although I didn’t find it easy, there was something about it that was helping me free up the tightness in my body and relaxing my mind, so I started attending 2-3 classes a week.
Over the years, I have tried many styles of yoga and if you are curious about trying yoga or if you find yoga ‘difficult’, I would advise trying different styles of yoga until you find the style(s)you enjoy as that will serve your body and mind well. It’s also important to find a teacher you connect with, who is well qualified and who you can trust. At different times in our life, we may need to practice different styles of yoga.
There are several ways to meditate and you can use practical tools that support the mind and guide the body through the use of breath, mantra, mudra, and focus. I see meditation as a cleansing exercise, like a flossing of the mind. If you are new to meditation just start with 2-3 minutes. It’s not about having an ‘empty mind’ as thoughts will start to appear and if you let those thoughts just come and go, that IS your meditation. Once your mind starts to find some stillness, you will start to feel more peaceful and at ease.
What’s not to love about yoga, meditation and chocolate? They are all full of benefits, feeding your body and mind more of just what you need.
If you have any questions or would like any guidance on how to get your yoga and meditation practice started, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joan Curran, R.G.N., BSc (Hons) Psychology, Human Potential Coach, Hatha, Kundalini, iRest® Yoga Nidra Teacher, Roll Model® Method Practitioner and U.K. Athletics Leader in Running Fitness.