Yoga, How I Discovered It And How It Has Helped Me
Learning to relax
I can give you an example right now of how tense your body gets during the day, and how to be aware of it.
1. Make a tight fist with your right hand and hold tight for 10 seconds. Let go. Let it go limp like an empty glove.
2, Now hold it tight again but with only 1/2 the tenseness. Hold for 10 seconds. Let it go limp again.
3. One more time with only half of the 1/2. Hold 10 seconds. Let it go limp.
During the course of the day, your body will experience different levels of tenseness, just like your hand did. Your neck or shoulders feel tired. A conscious stretch or massage will help relax those muscles. I have learned over the years to recognize the levels of tenseness in my body and I can purposely correct it. Tense and relax exercises can be done on the whole body as well. Start with individual body parts. The feet...hold tight...relax. Then the legs, then the buttocks, then the stomach and chest, then the shoulders. Then the whole body, including pinching up your facial muscles. Hold, tense, release.
Tension is a normal and necessary to be productive. But tension can also release harmful hormones which can affect your metabolism and muscle efficiency.
Yoga is for all ages
Poses in a flowing movement stimulate the whole system. The benefits are more energy, strength, and vitality. Creakiness and aches and pains dissapear.
How I discovered Yoga
I was in my 30's, had a part-time job. Two small children. Neighbors kids were playing in the back yard screaming and running in and out the door. The phone was ringing, and I was getting ready to go to a PTA meeting. Did you ever feel like you were on hamster wheel, being pulled in all directions at once? It was 3 in the afternoon, and a PBS television program came on. It was a cute lady with a long plat down her back. The music was soft and soothing. She said, "Welcome to my new series. Take the phone off the hook, and take this time for yourself." I was intrigued. I'd heard of Yoga, but thought it was some religious practice where people contorted their body and hummed and levitated. I was more curious than interested.
I did all the movements. It wasn't hard. I couldn't see how anything so easy could be beneficial. At the end she explained that the most important part of Yoga was relaxation. Her instructions were to lay flat on your back and close your eyes and go inward. Then she spoke softly leading you through a visual. That's when I lost consciousness. I woke up with a child jumping over me running for the door. Boy, was I shocked. I couldn't believe I fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon. It was only for 10 minutes, but it felt like the beginning of the day.
Wonderful! I have been doing it ever since. I am a Senior Citizen, and I have no aches or pains. I am active, and I want to share this wonderful ancient art with everybody.
Yoga in schools
- To Om Or Not To Om: Yoga, Public Schools, Spirituality | Care2 Causes
If you're teaching yoga in a public school, is it ok to say the Sankrit words such as om and namaste, to hold your hands (and instruct your students to) in the prayer position and to chant?