YOU CAN DO THIS!
Alright, we ready? Got the shoes, new outfit, gym bag…now what? For now we’ve just got to get to a starting point. Of course you already got an all clear from the physician, got to put that in, but now what? I’ll be talking a lot more about nutrition, which is at least 70% of the journey, but for now let’s just get moving.
If you’ve not been overly active, and even if you are in the gym a bit, I can’t speak highly enough of the benefits in practicing yoga. For Boomers the payoff is immeasurable; balance, tone, breath, core strength, postural alignment, all get a gentle persuasion in the right direction. I would practice daily for at least a month or so just to give the body a heads up of what’s coming. Doing this first will greatly diminish the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) when you actually get to lifting. I’m not as regular as I should be but when the lower back gets achy it’s still my go to for relief, with a few ‘sun salutations’ usually easing the achiness and restoring the range of motion. Arthritis comes calling for most of us (if you’re past 60 and don’t have a few aches/pains you are indeed a genetic wonder) and yoga is an outstanding adjunct to pain management. You may find it becoming primary.
Work into the poses, and be gentle but persistent with yourself.
Odds are some poses will come easy, some will be outright impossible, and ALL will seem a bit odd to the uninitiated. Once you get a handle on each pose attempt to hold it while focusing on 5-10 deep breaths, you’ll soon realize the difference between simple stretching and yoga is in the breath. With each exhale, feel the body relax deeper into the pose (yeah right). Trust me it will get much easier with daily practice. I’ve known several men and women that developed and maintained outstanding physiques and health through yoga practice alone. Macho men…get over it. Who cares if you’re big and bulky but have no balance or grace in your movements? Remember: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger; this is but a small price to pay.
The styles from Ashtanga to Hatha to Classical cover the spectrum, all with their leading ‘gurus’. I’m not of eastern descent, (born in Dixie), and I’m not versed in the dialogue or names of all the poses, nor am I particularly interested in the spiritual component. The efficacy of the practice is well documented however and if you’ve had any manual therapies the principles from yoga were likely applied, though billed with medical terminology of course. Should you decide on taking a class, find one that caters to an aging beginner. There are many springing up throughout the country, and the only caution I would offer would be toward Bikram or any of its offspring, the ‘hot yoga’ phenomenon. MAJOR warning if you have any sort of cardiac issues, as working out in 100*+ rooms is NOT the way to a happy early relationship to getting healthy.
YouTube is your friend here with a massive amount of beginning practices, especially for you ladies. Men…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M57pWCqG31I this guy is pretty good, just do what you can, but be persistent. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve begun this with nursing, staff, etc. and ALWAYS get the same response. “But I can’t do the plank” of course you can’t, very few can that have never done it, that’s the point. Continue with it and I promise you will find yourself standing taller and moving with better balance. Stay tuned…sign up…there’s more a coming.
Here is an inspirational video to help get the mind right. If this veteran doesn’t motivate you I can’t imagine anything I write from here out will make much difference.
Click the arrow box on right to access member log in info. Easy, no cost, and I’ll send you my “Eat your way to Health” which is my daily fare as a welcome.
Live well my friends,