Sunday, August 25, 2013

Can Anyone Practice Yoga?

One of my favorite yoga quotes is "If you can breathe, you can do yoga."  

Since yoga is ultimately the connection of body, breath and mind, anyone can do it and everyone can benefit from a well designed practice. We often confuse yoga in the West with asana (yoga postures), which is only one of the tools of yoga. Yoga encompasses that and so much more—meditation, pranayama, ritual, chant how we relate to others,  and the list goes on. 

So yes, everyone can benefit from doing yoga.   Even asana, which is the most physical of yoga tools, can be done by the vast majority of people if appropriately applied.  That’s what I love so much about Viniyoga, the style I teach.  The word, translated, simply means “proper application and adaptation.”  Viniyoga can be adapted to every individual.

How one approaches yoga practice does change over time.  In our younger years (the sunrise stage of life) our yoga tends to be more fitness and form oriented.  As we age to the mid-day stage of life, it will likely become more therapeutically based with an increasing focus on breath and pranayama.  Finally, as we approach our sunset years, our yoga should take us ever more internal through meditative practices.

Yoga practice helps us stay healthy while we live in this world while simultaneously preparing us for the great transition to the next.  But regardless of age, body type, injury, fitness level or  goals, yoga is a tool that that can help anyone!


Tracy Weber

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Betty Hechtman said...

You're right about yoga being for all ages. There is a woman in her 90s in my class. I hope someday somebody will be saying that about me.

Linda O. Johnston said...

You make yoga sound very tempting, Tracy. Maybe I'll give it a try one of these days.

Tracy Weber said...

Betty, I recently saw a fabulous photo shoot of a 95 year old yoga teacher. And the head of my lineage taught until he was over 100!

Linda, you really should try it. It's transformational on so many levels.