Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yoga for Stiff Dudes

For many years I thought that Yoga was too gentle, it seemed too easy and I needed a stronger workout. I thought it was for the gals or flexible people. What I came to find is that yoga can effectively teach me where my physical imbalances and weaknesses lie and help me to significantly strengthen and align the body, increasing the quality of my life way beyond my expectation.

Luckily one day I decided I needed a change of pace and have an easy workout so I joined the gals in their lunch time class. Thinking that this would be easy and maybe I would get a good stretch. The first pose was cat/cow and it was easy and confirmed what I was thinking. The teacher introduced a concept of moving with the breath and that was kind of cool.

The next pose was Mt Pose and this was like standing at attention just like in boot camp. So things were going pretty well and I was feeling like this was going to be easy. Then we folded forward and while all the gals had their fingers or hands touching the ground with their legs straight, I could barely reach my shins. The teacher brought me some blocks and I thought training wheels for me I can do it without the blocks. But the more I tried the more pain I was in. So I used the blocks. It was all downhill from there. The poses were almost impossible for me to get into. The teacher gave me many modifications which gave me access to the stretch at my beginner level. She offered that each pose informs the next.

I was sweating up a small tsunami and breathing fast as the teacher said we would do some cool down poses.  Cool down sounded like some easy poses were in store but to my dismay they were just as hard but closer to the ground. Hip openers and twists. Wow my hips are tight. How is this called a cool down? Then we moved to Savasana relaxation pose. After all this work instead of going off to the showers after my normal workout this was the best part. As I lay there still sweating the teacher talked us through the relaxation moving through a tour of the body breathing cool air to areas that were tight, exhaling relaxation there. Focusing on the breath we were instructed to let any thoughts that come up float away and re focus on the breath.

After class I was like a different person relaxed and not too sore. This was the best all around workout I had ever had affecting every part of my body mind and spirit. It’s been 10 years now and I still practice every day. Yoga has changed my life for the better in all areas. Health wise I came with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, over weight and no flexibility of mind or body. Now I have normal blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, lost 30 pounds and have tremendous flexibility.

While I am more flexible today there is always more. I found over the years that sticking the pose was not the point of yoga. The journey was more important. The awareness of how my body holds tension and tools to relieve or prevent it is priceless.

Very impressed with this transformation I am now a certified Yoga teacher. Helping others on this path is my passion. Contact me for a free consultation at