Monday, September 2, 2013

Is Yoga Right for Me?

Yoga Reduces Stiffness and Improves Mobility
Have you been thinking of doing yoga but are reluctant because you’re not sure if it’s right for you?  Intimidated by the pictures of skinny, flexible women on magazine covers, or walking out of the hot yoga class at the gym?  I hear ya!

Much of yoga in recent years has been marketed as a fitness routine for folks who are already fit and flexible.  While those classes certainly exist, I assure you that yoga is so much more than that.  If you look around at gyms, yoga studios, physical therapy offices, senior centers, community centers, beaches, schools, etc., you will find yoga classes geared towards seniors, kids, pregnant women, heavy folks, guys, athletes, moms, folks with cranky backs, stiff knees, and the list goes on and on.  Yoga is truly for ANYONE who is able to move, breathe and focus their attention.  Yoga is a practice of self-care, and there are classes that range from gentle to challenging.  The trick is finding a style, teacher and level of intensity that is right for you.  It’s out there.  It just takes a little shopping.

Remember that yoga isn't just about getting in shape.  It’s about learning to take care and give yourself what you need both on and off the yoga mat to give yourself the best chance at a healthy and happy life.  Yoga asks us to start to pay attention to the body and how it feels.  Often, because of past habits or life’s obligations, we set aside our own well being.  This neglect can often become habitual.  Yoga gives us an opportunity to carve out some time for ourselves, to break those unhealthy habits and set ourselves on a path to wellness.

If you are considering taking a class but are just not sure, don’t be shy about asking questions.  Ask how many years of experience the teacher has.  Ask where and when they received their teaching certifications.  Ask if the teacher has experience teaching someone with your condition.  If you find yourself in a class that is beyond your ability, it’s okay.  Don’t treat the teacher’s instruction like it’s an order.  Give yourself permission to back off the postures that feel unsafe.  Ask the teacher to help you find a variation that feels more comfortable.

The yoga class that meets on Wednesday nights at TheraCORE is gentle, with challenges appropriate for students’ varied abilities. Feel free to email me at  I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about yoga in general or the class at ThereaCORE in particular.