Yoga at Any Age for Every Body – What Yoga Offers

oga, in its very essence and form, is a highly flexible system that can be used by everyone. Because it encourages integrating parts of our being that usually get disconnected during our daily activities, it offers many different ways to bring these different aspects of ourselves together.  

[post-img]Yoga encourages care of the whole person, which includes not only their physical health but also their emotional desires and their yearning to connect with a “bigger picture” through spirit, relations
and a deep understanding of the universe. It doesn’t matter where
you start, whether it’s through the physical, the mental or the spiritual, each avenue will guide you back to your center of being and into a deepened sense of knowing life.  

Many women and men in our contemporary societies come to yoga for emotional and physical health reasons. They may be experiencing tensions in their bodies that arise from injuries, illness or stress. In some ways, this is easiest to understand as we experience pain or discomfort and can point to a physical area that hurts. [tip-fact]The physical part of a yogic practice, sometimes called hatha yoga, has been most strongly embraced by new practitioners in North America and Europe. Perhaps one reason for this is because a physical practice is accessible and immediate and we can trust the tangible results of physical exercise and activities.  

[b-quote]The physical postures in yoga, called asanas, range from simple relaxation techniques to vigorous rounds of forward bends and back bends that may include inverted poses and long holds of the pose. A key to understanding how asanas differ from other forms of exercize is the importance of the breath. Even here there are many levels of understanding and working with the breath. But this certainly is one of the reasons any person can experience the benefits of yoga.  We all breathe and yoga brings a new awareness of your breath and teaches us how to better move with the breath.  

Yoga also works on a more subtle level of prana, a complex word to describe what is often thought of as “life force” energy.  Every living thing has prana, food has prana, our touch carries prana, as well as our thoughts. Prana flows through our body in the form of energy from food, light, air and from the energy of others around us.  Healers work on a pranic level, scientists may explain this energy in terms of quantum leaps and artists and psychics cultivate seeing and feeling this energy for deeper insights.