I still have not resumed formal yoga classes with my teacher. Instead I have been doing self yoga just to keep my muscles exercised.
Yesterday, I went beyond my normal 2-3 lap warmup walk on the treadmill and went for 1.6kms of brisk walking in preparation for this Saturday’s Walk a Green Mile Walkathon with Ipanema. That took me all of 25 minutes. And my stamina was still up afterwards. That’s a good sign!
I went through a 1.5 hour yoga routine — slowly, at my own pace, breathing slowly, trying to get the asana right. This is the part I enjoy. I have all the time to get into the pose without having to follow the teacher’s count. This way, I can take it slow and easy but still reap the benefits of holding the pose and sweating it out.
A difficulty I noted at certain points of my practice was a pain I had on the inner right thigh running from the crotch area to the knee. I felt that pain doing Trikonasana (Triangle) and the Wide-Angle Forward Bend so I ended up modifying my poses and easing up whenever I felt the pain. It seems like my muscles here have become inflexible once more so it will take patience to work out the kinks once again and bring flexibility back.
This week, I plan to resume formal yoga classes. Maybe that will help me get back into shape faster.
On another bright note, I had the chance to talk about my yoga experience with friends who are in the prime of life. One of them is into Taebo, a regimen she took up after retiring from work. But she confessed that it did not seem enough as she felt not all her muscles were being exercised. I showed her some easy yoga asanas she could do and she seemed really interested in taking up yoga.
This brings me though to a thought because I believe that those starting yoga at her age should not be placed in classes with students half their age. They should be in gentle yoga classes — those cut out for senior citizens or maybe for those 50 and above who are just testing the waters of yoga. And the program has to be tailored to certain concerns at that age — how to combat the onset of osteoporosis, achieving balance to avoid falls, building mass and reducing fat, and gland disorders, among others. And the poses must all be modified and easy, at least until they can become comfortable moving to the next level.
But most yoga classes being offered are too intensive for their age category!
I hope I can find a studio that is willing to take up a program for this category of students in the future. Yoga benefits people of ALL ages and the ones who really need it most are those who have led stressful, unhealthy, inflexible lives and are just realizing it at this point in their senior lives and wish to reverse at least part of the consequences.