Why Women Over 40 Should be Practising Yoga
Women in their 40’s are typically very busy. You work, take care of kids, run your household....it’s all about everything going on around you and often we ignore our own needs. In your 30s you can get away with it. In your 40s we begin to see symptoms of self neglect. Weight gain, poor digestion, stiff achy body, insomnia, hight blood pressure, anxiety and a weak immune system, to name a few.
Not to worry, it’s not to late to turn things around and feel good about yourself again.
Yoga....oh my, yes, I said it, Yoga. Everywhere you turn these days it’s bloody YOGA!
Well, there must be a reason for this....no? Yoga is an ancient practice that dates back over 5000 years. A fad? that’s a heck of a long fad. It has staying power as a means to heal the body and the mind because it works.
Going to a yoga class carves out a moment in your week that is just for you! It’s time for personal observation of your physical and mental state. It’s a time for reflection and a time for you to let go of physical and emotional residue that is left behind by your hectic schedule.
There are many different ways to practice yoga and each teacher has a unique way of presenting these techniques. Where to begin? It’s a process of trial and error. I often hear “I tried yoga and I hate it.” To which, I suggest “try a different teacher”. The relationship between a teacher and a student can be very intimate. So a personal connection helps. Read a teachers bio on-line and see if their life experience speaks to you.
I have a student who had a high paced job in an ad agency. She had tried yoga many times and each time was left feeling bored or that the experience was very serious and holier than though. True, there are many teachers and studios that have a very no nonsense approach and that type of atmosphere for a newbie can be intimidating and unwelcoming. Traditionally, to reach the ultimate goal of Enlightenment, a disciplined daily practice needs to be established. This is the only way. However, many people today are not looking for Enlightenment but rather a way to manage their stress, stop their back from aching or a way to manage the effects of time on their changing body.
Practicing yoga even once a week can help to negate the residue that life leaves behind. You may never be able to do a headstand or sit in meditation for an hour on the floor with your legs crossed but who cares. If you spend an hour a week doing some light stretching, relaxing breathing exercises and just being still you will notice a profound change in your awareness of both yourself and what’s going on around you. You will manage stress better, your balance, strength and flexibility will improve, your ability to concentrate will grow, you will sleep better and you will strengthen your immune system. You will even find it easier to be nicer!
It may seem silly that all of these things can come from doing yoga. Try it and find out for yourself. Make a commitment to try a out a studio for a month. Most studio have a new student pass that allows you to try out their teachers and the various styles of yoga at a reasonable price.
You may have to try a few different styles of yoga, teachers and studios until you find one that is a good fit for you. Isn’t most of your life like that? It takes a while to find a good hair stylist, mechanic, doctor...finding a good yoga teacher requires the same amount of patience, research and diligence. The transformative power of yoga is profound. Peace in both body and mind are only a few deep breaths away.