Despite having been active my whole life (dance, snowboarding, hiking, and the occasional gym membership), I realized as I was turning 50 in 2016 that a lot of things hurt. In the midst of focusing on “working out” I’d never really been introduced to real stretching and balance work. My brief encounter with yoga years ago had only seemed to reinforce what I feared: that it’s for people who are already in shape and can afford $150 stretchy pants.
Imagine my surprise when my chiropractor suggested I try yoga, explaining that he could keep aligning me, but until some areas of my body were strengthened and others stretched and I made an effort to keep them that way, he would be a permanent part of my life.
I was a bit of a mess: menopausal hot flashes and waking up every 1-2 hours, unable to lift my right arm over my head due to an old car accident injury, tingling fingers and hands, pretty much constant back, wrist, and elbow pain, and struggling to deal with mental stress. Let’s just say I was nowhere near imagining downward facing dog as a resting pose! Even restorative yoga was a challenge, as I felt guilty for “doing nothing” and my mind would not stop. I eventually found aerial yoga to be a fun, gentle introduction (another blog post in the future, perhaps), and my passion was ignited for good.
Fast forward 3+ years. The hot flashes are still present, but less intense. I actually sleep through the night, maybe waking up once or twice (I blame sharing the bed with my husband and four dogs). No more tingling extremities, and my overall strength and flexibility areso much better! I’m more patient, grateful, and connected to the divine.
I find myself trying new things every time I step onto my mat, and my brain works differently (in a good, more open-minded way). I loverestorative and look forward to chilling in downward dog during class.
Apparently, old dogs can be taught new tricks. And they can thoroughly enjoy them.
By Heidi Drake; All Rights Reserved @2019