chakra“Whether young or old, weak or strong, sick or infirm, everyone can benefit from the practice of yoga. One who practices yoga is bound to achieve success. One cannot achieve success in yoga by merely talking about it, reading about it or by donning certain attire. Constant practice alone is the secret to success.”  Hatha Yoga Pradipika

What does it mean to age successfully?  How can yoga help?  How do we need to practice?

This fall we are introducing a new series of classes, Yoga for Health, a class for people of all ages, where we will try to answer these questions. The goal of this class is to provide you with a set of yoga tools that will help you to move gracefully through the various phases of life.  In each class we will present a balanced yoga practice designed to support body, mind, and spirit.

Physical Health  –    To strengthen the body we will explore five specific categories of asanas:

  • Strengthening poses designed to maintain bone density and strengthen your muscles and joints, maintaining strength allows you to be physically active and independent;
  • Flexibility poses help maintain mobility and a healthy range of motion in your muscles and joints, which allows you more freedom in your day to day activities;
  • Balancing poses are crucial for preventing falls. These poses enable you to be physically active and independent throughout life;
  • Agility poses increase your reaction time in the real world, preventing injuries and allowing you to keep up with a wide range of physical activities; and
  • Circulation poses essential for the health of the heart and lymphatic health.

Mental Health  – To manage stress and increase mental focus we will explore in depth the following yoga tools;

  • Pranayama and other breath awareness techniques that focus the mind;
  • Restorative postures for mental clarity; and
  • Relaxation techniques. 

These practices are all essential in reducing stress and can help prevent major age-related diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as ward off depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

Spiritual Wellbeing -  Within the context of each class we will sometimes include:

  • Inspirational readings  from the yoga and other spiritual traditions
  • Special postures for emotional wellbeing.

These practices are useful in helping you to stay grounded, stave off depression, and cultivate equanimity.   The cultivation of forbearance and equanimity is at the center of spiritual practice and mental well being. Yoga can teach us to cultivate equanimity in the face of life’s challenges. From this, contentment and maybe even happiness can arise as we learn through practice to accept what we cannot control and appreciate what we already have.

Our Yoga for Health series is intended to be more than just a challenging class that provides a set of yoga tools. It is an extension of our guiding philosophy, cultivated over many years of teaching and practice; at Still Water Yoga we believe that the teaching of yoga must be adapted to respect the needs, abilities, and requirements of each individual student.

Please join us this semester at one of our Yoga for Health series of classes by registering here. We are looking forward to working together with you.

Quotes of the Month

“The power needed in Yoga is the power to go through effort, difficulty or trouble without getting fatigued, depressed, discouraged or impatient and without breaking off the effort or giving up one’s aim or resolution. A quiet vigilant but “undistressed” persistence is the best way to get sadhana (the yogic practice) done.” Sri  Auribindo

“Work not for a reward; but never cease to do thy work. Do thy work in the peace of Yoga and, free from selfish desires, be not moved in success or in failure. Yoga is evenness of mind – a peace that is ever the same.”The Bhagavad Gita 2:47 on one of the secrets to healthy aging – acceptance and active engagement

” Knowledge is only rumor until it lives in the muscle.” Attributed to folk wisdom of the Asaro Tribe of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.