“I’m doing the best with what I got,” my sister often says. But she doesn’t stop there. She tries to make “what she got” a little bit better. You can too. One way to make “what you got” a little bit better is by doing yoga on a regular basis. It makes “what you got” stronger, more flexible and more stable. Yoga can help bring balance to your body and to your life, and it can literally change the way that you breathe.
You have one body. You were born with it, but it also carries your life history. Your body is a living combination of nature and nurture. Slightly crooked backs run in my family, only mine is more crooked than slightly. Yoga has taught me to accept my back but also to help it. I can’t make my spine straighter, but I can give it more flexibility and stability. And I can learn to breathe more calmly while I do it.
All forms of yoga focus on mind, body, and spirit, but yoga classes and teachers can vary widely. I encourage you to investigate before committing. Many classes teach Hatha yoga, and one form of Hatha yoga is Iyengar. I like this type of yoga because it is gentle. Iyengar yoga focuses on alignment, postures, and breath control. It is for all body types and all ages, and it lends itself as yoga therapy. Instructors will talk you through the breathing and the poses and give you blankets, pillows, or straps to assist you. Once you learn the basics, you can also practice yoga at home via DVD or on line videos.
Yoga also helps ground me – and grounding can be a challenge for empaths. By starting my day with yoga, I feel connected to the earth and to myself. My energy feels balanced, my breathing is low and steady, and my spine has gotten the encouragement it needs to meet the many demands of my day.
The closing words from Rodney Yee (accompanied by soft music and scenic ocean waves) on his AM Yoga DVD summarize why I get up early to start my day with yoga practice. “Begin each and every day with openness and peace.” I wish the same for you. Namaste.