You’re never too old for yoga!
I had the pleasure of practicing next to Linda recently, she has been practicing yoga at the studio for the past 8 months, a truly inspiring woman! She never complains about what she can’t do, she always focuses on what she can do every class, and works to the full range of motion she has on that day.
We have a famous Bikram Yoga quote – “You are never too old, never too bad, never too late, never to sick to start from scratch once again”
Linda, “I am in my 70s with rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia, both autoimmune diseases. I have had a knee replacement and broken femur so only have 100 degrees bend in my left knee. As part of tackling RA I followed the Patterson programme using diet (gut health) and exercise. Bikram yoga was recommended – I didn’t know anything about it prior to this. For me the heat was a big factor. Pain appears to be less when the joints are warmed up. At my age I do not expend the same energy I did when working full time, bringing up 5 kids, coaching their sports teams etc. Hence I do not think the body manages to eliminate toxins like it used to. Sweating in 40 degrees certainly helps this process.”
Why did you start Bikram Yoga?
“The heat, the exercise regime allows all participants to cope at their own level and moves at a pace that means you do not have too long to wait if you are unable to do some of the moves.”
How do you feel after class?
“I feel a sense of well being. The body has been stretched out removing the slight hunch that comes with coping with pain, breathing is more relaxed, the skins feels great after all the sweating. Remember tiredness may mean you need more water.”
What benefits have you received from yoga?
“My knee bend has improved slightly, left arm now extends to straight up above the head (from severe pain to get to horizontal), neck movement increased, improvements in strength, flexibility, balance and mental attitude.”
What advice would you give to newbies?
- You need to stick at it – it is a tough class – recognise that and don’t beat yourself up when you struggle.
- It is okay to sit out a few postures, (or many if necessary).
- It is about you and not anyone else in the room so struggling is fine
- Find some support – my husband and daughter’s support has been essential particularly when motivation wanes.
- Listen to the instructors – the more classes you do the more you hear.
- Ask – I have to do many things differently as I am unlikely to ever be able to sit on my knees or get good hip rotation – that does not have to stop me attending.
- Learn to accept your body as it is and work with it not against it
- Be prepared to take time to cope with the heat
- DON’T give up – try to go at least twice a week, 3 is better. Accept it is time consuming.
- You don’t have to have a beautiful body to do yoga.
- Find out about what to wear and where to place your mat.
- It is not for everyone but if you don’t persevere for at least 3 months I don’t think you will know if it is right for you.
What is it that you like about this studio?
“The new floor is great – smells sweet and is much more hygienic. The instructors are amazing – positive, encouraging, supportive and non judgemental and new ideas continue to emerge.”
— Sorry to have rabbited on but I feel somewhat passionate about it!