Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yoga to nourish the body and mind

I took my first yoga class about 20 years ago but only in the last 18 months have I practiced more regularly (1 to 2x a week), mainly because my husband has gotten into it (thanks to a particular instructor). I've seen many benefits from my more consistent yoga practice, so I am committed to continuing the once or twice per week practice... hopefully for the rest of my life!

In some ways I feel my progress is so slow because most sessions are just so challenging. But in other ways I feel big changes have been made in my body's strength and flexibility in a relatively short time. For example, recently I've been able to do the back bend position, but 6 years ago my back was in such bad shape I thought there would be no way in my life time that it would be possible (even my chiropractor didn't think so). In fact, my back is so much better I've stopped going to the chiropractor after just 6 months of practicing more consistently.

Besides the physical benefits of yoga, each practice is a wonderful opportunity to escape my thoughts. There is no opportunity in class for the mind to wander... only to focus on my teacher's instructions. There's no choice but to focus on NOW. It's meditative and relaxing to the mind, while challenging for the body. I'm not sure what is more valuable... the relief from my anxious and active mind or the toning of my muscles. I suppose both equally support good health.

In the spirit of sharing good health with my friends and readers, I want to acknowledge my wonderful yoga instructor, Sean Michael Hall. He is totally committed to wellness and he has made a huge contribution to my and also my husband's health.... and for this we are grateful. Anyone who lives in the Berkeley/Oakland area would find it convenient to go to one of his yoga classes. He also has an acupuncture practice that specializes in pain management and women's issues.

To your health!

About the photo
Taken at the Palomarin trail in Bolinas, CA.

1 comment:

  1. Sean has helped me a lot as well. I can almost touch my toes now, that's a huge improvement for me!