Experience The Health Benefits of Yoga & Meditation Over 50
Think you’re too old to start practicing gentle yoga and meditation? Well think again!
Recently, my wife and I on the advice of our kids took part in a 4 day intensive Inner Engineering Program in Vancouver, BC. This yoga and meditation program was developed by one of the most influential people on this planet. His name is Sadhguru and he is the founder of the ISHA Foundation in India.
I am nearing 60 years of age and have been physically active for pretty much my entire life. I’ve enjoyed and engaged in a variety of sports throughout my childhood and well into my adult life. From baseball, basketball, pretty much anything to do with a ball, I’ve played! My career as a Police Officer was spent mostly on a motorcycle working in all kinds of inclement weather throughout the year.
Over the years, I have also sustained my share of unfortunate injuries, some of my own doing and some not! Without going into great detail, my body has had its fair share of broken bones, torn ligaments, surgical procedures and more. I’ve also been fortunate enough to develop severe arthritis in various parts of body as well. Oh well!
Given this, I still try to maintain a very active lifestyle. I work out at the gym, walk daily, ride my bike and enjoy swimming. So when asked if I would be interested in taking a gentle yoga and meditation program, I’ve never been one to say no. My wife and kids have been practicing yoga for years, but I never really could see myself being able to do some of those funky monkey yoga poses, especially with all my ailing joints!
The First Days of the Program
Arriving at the studio in Vancouver, I was a little skeptical and apprehensive at first, especially dealing with the whole meditation thing. But after arriving, I was quite surprised and I must say relieved to see the mixture of people taking part in this program. There were people of all ethnic backgrounds and ages ranging from late teens to some I would guess were in their late 70’s or later. A few I noticed had severe physical handicaps, but I was inspired by their willingness to take part in this program.
The first days of the program teach you very gently yoga known as UPA Yoga and Yoga Namaskar. Something I could handle, but still found completely foreign to what my body has been used to doing for so many years. I was beginning to use muscles that I never knew existed! But at all times, you are able to work at your own pace while introducing your body to this new form of exercise!
The meditation practiced involves relaxation in the form of breathing, chanting and tranquil meditation while seated in the Lotus position. A little odd at first, but after a few days, you start to get the hang of it. All in all, it was a very enjoyable experience and definitely worth taking.
The Health Benefits Experienced After the Program
Our instructor had told us that each and every one of us will experience different reactions and benefits down the road. If we stuck with the regime for 40 days, practicing regularly, we would begin to experience the benefits of yoga and meditation combined. Over this time, I did begin to notice subtle changes, both physically and mentally. These were positive changes that were starting to occur with me.
On the physical side, I could now sit in the Lotus position longer and longer each day without feeling like a broken pretzel and my muscles slowly but surely, were actually starting to become more flexible. On the mental side, I began starting to feel a sense of calm inside. During the short meditation cycle, I noticed that my heart rate would slow dramatically and I would become in a very relaxed state of mind.
The Health Benefits Yoga & Meditation Have Made
I’ve been practicing this now for about 3 months and I still feel changes happening both inside and out. I can now go for walks without experiencing any hip or joint pain whatsoever. I have increased energy and vitality and have also noticed that I feel a more calm state of mind and well – being. I don’t let things bother me or frustrate me and seem to just take things in stride now.
These benefits of practicing simple yoga and meditation feel wonderful, and I only wish now that I would have started years ago! Now remember, I was physically fit and active prior to starting this program, but with many physical ailments that I have been dealing with for years. Think of the benefits gentle yoga and meditation can have for those of you who have not been as active over the years and/or do suffer from any physical or mental discomfort.
Remember, it’s never too late to start something new, especially something that will improve one’s own well- being. We can only help ourselves and do everything we can to live a healthy and happy life. So get off that sofa and give gentle yoga and meditation a try, you just might be glad you did! Be sure to check out my recent post here on the Health Benefits of Swimming as well!
Safe travels & healthy living!
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