This ancient practice stands rooted in our modern world
I'm a firm believer in regular exercise being integral to physical and emotional health at every age, but most especially as we grow older. It is a proven fact that regular yoga practice keeps us healthier, stronger, more balanced and in control of our bodies and our lives and the older I get, the more important yoga has become to me. There’s something really powerful and grounding about regular practice that I haven’t found with anything else. It even helps me sleep sounder (and heaps of research backs this up). Even headache sufferers may find that regular practice reduces the frequency and intensity of migraines. Read the review of my powerful weekend with yogi Ducky Punch (pictured) on the beautifully remote Heir Island here.
I don’t pound the pavements like I once did nor do I practise ashtanga (the style of yoga I first learned and loved). During my middle years it’s vinyasa flow, kundalini and calming yin yoga that weaves its magic every time.
For most of us attending daily yoga class is impossible, while finding our flow at home can be tedious. We're in good company though as even longtime practitioners often find home practice a real challenge.
As seasoned yogi and writer Linda Sparrowe says in her book Yoga at Home: Inspiration for Creating Your Own Home practice "The intention you set and the awareness you bring to your actions are what make yoga personal. Home practice is as much about ritual as it is about content."
So just as you schedule that weekly office catch up, so too should you prioritise your practice. And once it becomes part of your daily to-do list you will make time for it - even if its 5-10 minutes.
Dublin-based yoga and mindfulness expert Mari Kennedy's tips for getting started at home include:
- Find a spot in your house and put a mat there.
- Show up every day and move your body - do a downward dog or simply lie down and stretch your body, even for one minute
- Don't underestimate the power of just stepping on your mat and moving every day, albeit it briefly.
As with anything new, the hardest part is getting started. When (not if!) you do, the rewards will be with you for what can be the best part of your life... roll out your mat and let the vinyasa flow.