Monday, May 6, 2013

I’m Practicing Yoga – Again


Recently I took a series of classes of Chair Yoga at my library. I’d taken yoga classes for many years, but had stopped because it wasn’t the best thing for my body. Yes, yoga’s supposed to be excellent for your spine. It keeps you limber and in good health. Perhaps, but I found I that staying in an asana (position) while the teacher went around correcting stances wasn’t good for my arthritic-ridden body. Of course we were supposed to come out of the pose if and when we felt pain, but I never did. I can do it! I can hold it always ran through my head in a most un-yogalike way.

I liked Chair Yoga immediately, and enjoyed doing breathing and stretching exercises sitting in a chair. We stood up for some asanas, and I discovered I wasn’t using the chair at all. I was flexible from all my previous years of practice, though my balance needed more – balance. When the four sessions came to an end, I promised myself I would continue to practice yoga a few minutes every day.

We writers sit at our computers for long stretches at a time. We do our best writing when we lose track of the passing minutes. Still, it’s important to get up occasionally and stretch. Walk around. Do a bit of yoga. It's best to take classes with a certified instructor who will let you know if you're doing each asana correctly. There are many yoga sites on line. The one I’ve used and like is Desktop Yoga: http://www.mydailyyoga.com/yogaindex.html

12 comments:

Palmaltas said...

Thanks for the desktop yoga link! You are so right--writers do need to get up and move!

Betsy Ashton said...

I've been practicing yoga for 45 years. Right now, I can't do any of the wonderful asanas that require bending backward. I have a rather nasty pinched nerve in my lower back. Instead of whining, I looked for different positions. I'm healing faster than Magic Hands, my chiropractor,thought I would. Yoga works. So does sitting on a balance ball at the computer, rather than in a chair.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Pat and Betsy,
Thanks for visiting.
Betsy, a friend told me to sit on a balance ball while at the computer. A week or so ago, I was doing just that when I came upon an article that said sitting on a balance ball wasn't necessarily good for you. Now I don't know which is right.
I agree-- we have to adjust our yoga routines as we grow older. Find ones that help and make us feel good.

Morgan Mandel said...

I need something like this. I do go to Fitness Classes, with step and aerobics and exercises, but some of them I don't do, because if I did, my body would not like it!

Morgan Mandel
http://www.morganmandel.com

Carla King at LovesMoose.com said...

I used to teach a chair-based yoga class at a retirement community. It was packed every time. Everyone can participate, and each asana can be modified based on each person's needs. Yoga should be the starting point of any fitness class. You need to stretch and warm up your muscles to prevent injury. But boy do I struggle with self-discipline. :)

Grandma or Patsy said...

I did yoga st a local gym for a couple of years but stretched my hamstrings beyond endurance, and so quit. Like you I kept up with the class and guess that is what was the problem. Took about 4 months to get healed. I loved yoga, and yes, I do need to do something more than gardening and walking .. and writing.

Mary Ricksen said...

If only I wasn't so uncoordinated!!!

marilynn said...

I did both regular and chair yoga, the chair yoga when I could no longer get up and down. Grumble. I can't remember why I stopped doing the chair yoga, because I liked it. Maybe I'll try to find the disk.

You're right. We sit at our computers too long at one time. I set the kitchen timer for half an hour, but, when it rings, I need to write just one more sentence, and suddenly it's lunch time.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Marilyn,

I'm a believer in yoga, especially for my arthritis issues. When we relocated about 8 years ago, my new town didn't have a yoga program.

So a friend and I went down to Jacksonville and got certified to teach yoga. We ran a program here for a number of years, then let it go due to schedule constraints.

My niece asked me about yoga last fall for her health concerns, and I started doing a "family" yoga class for relatives only which has proved helpful for all of us. We are the posterchildren for auto immune issues, so all of our poses are shorter in duration and gentle. Plus it motivates me to get moving and to clean my house, LOL.

Good post!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Morgan, Carla, Mary, Marilynn, and Maggie,
Glad you all stopped by. Glad I'm not the only one who has had to modified her yoga and exercise program. Mary, don't worry about being uncoordinated. As Maggie said, Yoga is good for arthritis. But we have to do it in moderation as our bodies grow older (not us, our bodies) I still think walking is terrific for us.

Maryann Miller said...

Thanks for the reminder about how important it is to stretch now and then. Getting up now....

Jana Richards said...

When it comes to our aging bodies, the old adage "use it or lose it" is definitely true. I may not always be able to do all the poses in my yoga class, but I do as much as I can and that's still a benefit. We writers have to incorporate movement and exercise into our routines or else we simply can't be as productive as we'd like to be.