Can anyone do yoga?
Below is a blog I wrote in 2015 on my return from an amazing yoga holiday – something I had thought about many times but never quite managed to do. I remember the year as a stressful year, I was trying to draw a line under some complicated situations and do some ‘starting again’. I was scared to do a holiday like this on my own, but I didn’t really have any uncoupled friends to come away with me when I was free. I recall being collected at Toulouse airport, the car journey to St Antonin, and then shown my room. I recall starting to cry when the door was closed, and being scared to go downstairs to meet the other participants… but somehow, I managed. It was an amazing break from my usual routine. The people were so lovely, are so lovely. I have had downtimes with my yoga since then, but somehow or other I always come back to it. Current practice: 30 mins in the morning, in my living room – before the start of the day. I then sit down to breakfast for another 30 minutes. I am still learning what I need to put into a day, and how to carve out time for the things that I want to include; I think this is lifelong.
Recently I was asked by a potential client what was necessary to maintain her current fitness and health levels as she progressed through her next decade. I was reminded of how easy it is to fit exercise and activity into life pre children and how challenging it can become as our bodies seemingly deteriorate in the mirror
But… having recently returned from a much deserved (even if I have to say this myself) joyous week of yoga, red wine and cheese in the South of France I can put out an alert that no matter your age or current levels of strength, endurance, flexibility or fitness generally it is wonderful to practise yoga.
There are so many different types of yoga, from the more powerful and aerobic, to the more restful and meditative, everyone can find something to suit them. It really is worth searching out different classes and different instructors. My yoga of choice in my 30s was Ashtanga – but having moved on in years and had children to occupy my time, it seemed difficult to absorb a class into the weekly routine.
Needing some breathing space this summer and having two weeks free when my children would be with their Dad, I somewhat impulsively googled, and lo and behold found myself at La Roane with Janaki and Davey from Brighton – yoga instructors supremo. What a pleasure. Age range: 28 – 77. Yoga experience – immeasurable. Most flexible yoga bunny? 67… ankles behind the ears indeed! From sea kayakers swimming in cold pools at 7am, walkers investigating caves, to 77 year old three times per week spinners, my yoga group was inspiring, exciting and enthusiastic about life and all it has to offer.
So when I speak to my client regarding what is necessary to maintain current fitness levels I will be remarking from a research perspective that yes… we have to do more and be more active to try and maintain our bodies, but the most important thing of all is to find the activity or exercise which you will love and enjoy, and which will continue to give you pleasure and fun, no matter what age you are. And I have found my yoga mojo again… Hurrah. Thank you, Hannah, for my yoga photo. And thank you Cherry for being a flexible friend.
2019 comment – best types of yoga as below for your needs
Complete beginners – search out Hatha or Iyengar yoga where the focus really is on learning correct alignment and how to actually do the poses
If you feel confident in this area you can keep going or you can try a more aerobic or flow type of yoga such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa
All yoga classes will have a relaxation aspect to them; if this is the main purpose in doing yoga for you why not try some Yin Yoga which will wind you down like no other.