Yoga? Maybe you love it or perhaps you think it’s not for you.
I resisted it myself, at first. Who wants to get in a hot room with people who can bend themselves into any shape and meditate on demand? After years of saying no, I finally decided to give it a try during my second pregnancy. The result? I have realized so many benefits for my patients to also experience.
My personal yoga story is one that most of my patients know. But, there’s another one I have wanted to share for years. A story of someone who I originally saw for low back pain, and said, "You know, I think some stretching and yoga would go a long way to helping this condition." I’m sharing his story for those who don't think they can or want to...for whatever reason.
Yoga is for Every Body
I want to share with you my experiences practicing yoga every day for the last 38 months straight. Yes, I said every day. I have not missed one day. Saturdays? Most definitely. Sundays? Yes. Each and every holiday? Absolutely. EVERY DAY!
I’m still very actively working (40+ hours a week) and I start every morning with yoga. I have a bad lower back (L4 and L5) and refused to take any medication for pain, so I turned to yoga. I dabbled with yoga for a few years prior to my commitment in 2015. However, dabbling did not give constant relief from my pain.
I was under the same assumption as many — that yoga is putting your body in a pretzel position and that, if you were able to get into a position, chances are you wouldn’t be able to get out of it. I started a YouTube search for an instructor that I could feel comfortable with and after many hours of watching and listening, I found that person.
To me, yoga is stretching, not knot-binding positions that hurt. They say it takes 21 days to create a habit, so my first goal was one month without stopping, then two months, then six months, and now my goal is to not stop. There have been days that I absolutely did not want to practice, but I have anyway. If I have an early morning client meeting, I get up half an hour earlier to continue my quest to not stop.
Take my challenge and set your first goal of 21 days. Start slow, and if your online instructor presents a position that you know you can’t get in to, or know may hurt, wait until the routine returns to something you feel comfortable with. By the way, I’m a 69 year old male....I’ll be 70 in three months. Yoga works for me. I hope it will work for you.
Begin Your Yoga Practice
If finding a yoga class at your local gym or studio feels intimidating, try starting at home for free with the Downward Dog app which allows you to select the level and duration that feel right for you.