Chances are, as you are reading this right now, your shoulders and neck are a little rounded and compressed, and your upper torso is leaning forward. You may not think of yourself as “slouching” but, most likely, you’re probably not sitting straight up either. (Did I nail that one?)
Last summer due to an increased “work from home” schedule, to include much of my military time, I didn’t realize how poor my sitting position had become. Except one day, seemingly overnight, I couldn’t stand up straight. The issue, other than my back being out of alignment, was that I was scheduled to take a week trip to Langley, Virginia, to help train one of our Flight Engineers. I couldn’t walk straight, let alone get into a military aircraft. Luckily, I was able to contact “PT Patty”, a Physical Therapist in my area, and she straightened me out (pun intended) fairly quickly. Seriously: if you’re in my area and need someone to work on you, she’s pretty awesome at her craft.
Fast forward a few months to this past winter, when I tweaked my back again while flying, with the problem in the upper back this time. (In case you are curious--No, I am not admitting it is my age or the flying that is causing my issues. Heather and Rhona both tell me this is called ‘denial’. Personally, I don’t understand what they are talking about!) After couple of weeks of misery, I was back in front of PT Patty, and again, she got me un-kinked in short order. However, at the conclusion of this visit she asked, “What are you doing Monday at 9:15?” I just looked at her blankly. She then said, “You’re coming to my Yoga class.” I was a bit skeptical about tending my first class, but I trusted Patty’s advice and showed up for my first lesson.
My reason for sharing my experience is this: I wish someone (other than my wife) would have encouraged me to look into this sooner. Maybe because I only see women carrying yoga mats around, I dismissed the exercise. I really don’t know the reason I never gave it a serious thought. Yes, I am the only male in my Monday morning class, but hey, 300lb professional football players take yoga instruction. The truth is I feel great after each class. Whenever I’ve had to miss a class, my body “talks” to me differently and not in a good way. I still attend weekly classes and I look at them as pre-emptive therapy. My body might be aging but my brain hasn’t. I still think I can sit in an office all week, then “magically” work in the yard or cut wood like I was in my 20’s – but nope! Since I’ve been attending weekly classes, I have been able to stay active AND keep myself from being hunched over with a kink in my back.
Yoga itself can be quite complex depending on how deep one looks into the subject or what type of instructor you have. Here is a little history that I came across as I was researching the subject: http://www.yogadaycelebration.
What I have found interesting, and one of the reasons I wanted to share this subject with you, is the variety of Yoga practices available. Regardless of your age, there is a Yoga routine that will fit any ability and intensity level that is right for you. If your first attempt at Yoga isn’t successful for you remember “one size does NOT fit all” - try a different instructor.
My last anecdote I want to share comes from a Yoga class Heather attended recently. As the class was conducting some stretches, their instructor said, “These stretches can be the difference between living on your own longer and needing physical assistance when you’re older.” The thought that ran through my head was a vision of me moving in with Rachel or Sydney in 20 years. No! I love them but, not I will avoid that living situation if I can help it.
As I wrap this up, I feel my back hunching over from typing too long. I think I’ll go do some stretching and get my posture back in line--Namaste!
Please remember that we are “here” and available for you as well. If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them.
As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!