Hath Yoga has integrated itself into our Western culture, helping people to connect the very fabric of their lives together. Yoga means to "yoke" or bring together the body-mind-breath or spirit of the individual. This is accomplished by performing a series of physical postures called Asanas, the Sanskrit word for specific poses. This is the first step towards liberating the mind from the constant and incessant chatter of thoughts that serve little purpose other than to distract us from living in the present moment. Hatha Yoga is a kind of active meditation, which serves the dual purpose of releasing tension and restrictions in the physical body, calming the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and thus allowing the mind to find clarity and focus.
YOGA CAN HELP TO RESTORE STRENGTH & FLEXIBILITY
With age comes physical restrictions, aches and pains, less flexibility and a loss of balance. We may feel 20 years younger mentally, and yet wonder how our body got so old and tired. More importantly is there anything that can be done to restore the strength and flexibility we once had? In a word, Yoga. You can revitalize your physical body and regain the flexibility and strength of your much younger self; but it does take practice; and time; and discipline, as well as, a commitment to practicing for at least 15-30 minutes, 3-4 times per week. At first glance this may seem like a lot to ask, so begin by attending a yoga class once a week. You will feel the benefits right away, and this will motivate you to increase your yoga schedule until you receive the needed results. It is well worth the effort to make yoga a major part of your weekly routine; and if you cannot get out to a yoga studio or gym, or if all you want is a simple routine you can do at home then here is a simple, yet effective asana sequence that will help lubricate your aching joints, massage your internal organs to function more efficiently, calm your nervous system and generally assist your whole being to feel better.
CHAIR YOGA SEQUENCE TO GET YOU STARTED
Begin by sitting slightly forward towards the front edge of a bench or stool, with feet grounded on the floor. When moving from one posture to another use the inhale to move you into the pose and the exhale to release any tension or restriction in the muscles; and always remember to repeat the posture on both sides of the body.
Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse LLC, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 30 years of study, experience and practice. The programs she has created, the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and the Ha-Tha Yoga Method, are offered as daily and weekly classes in New Jersey and soon to be on-line. You can find classes, workshops, retreats and teacher trainings at deliaquigley.com.
Exercise not only promotes physcial health, but helps to maintain mental sharpness. Plus it can be a lot of fun as well. Besides yoga, qigong and tai chi are gentle exercises that are suitable for all ages. Check out these classes and resources in your neighborhood: