It wasn't the sight of today's movie stars trotting off to yoga classes taught by gurus, that got me into yoga. Most of those folks weren't even born when I began my yoga journey back in the mid-70s.
I suffered from severe migraines. As a person who'd been born limber, I hadn't considered it necessary to do much to stay that way, but I did think some poses in a book I received from a book club could possibly help my migraines. The moves were effortless for my young body, but I felt good when I did them. They didn't cure my migraines, but I continued doing the poses just for that relaxed, "stretched out" feeling.
Throughout the years, I dropped the practice time and again. I was too busy. I didn't need it. Whatever. Yet, I'd pick up the book from time to time, and relearn the moves - generally when I wasn't feeling all that great, physically. My children, now grown, remember me doing yoga moves in the living room and warning them not to jump on me when I was in a pose, because they could hurt me.
I've followed yoga through the years, and cringed, at times, over its popularity. Being a bit contrary, I've kind of kept it a secret so people won't think I'm trendy (not much chance of that). So, why am I telling you this bit of my history?
As I've aged, and fought arthritis - one of the family curses - I've found that dragging out the old routine has kept me limber, out of a lot of pain, and away from the chiropractor. These days, if I skip my fifteen-minute workout in the evening, I pay with discomfort as I sit for hours, at my computer, the next day. If I skip two nights - well, let's say it's not smart.
Over a year ago, I wrote about older people doing yoga in a post titled "Exercise for Boomers and Seniors," based on, of all things, the program of a former professional wrestler. This guy has a good video and explains how the exercise helped him heal from injuries. This, folks, is as close to professional wrestling as I've ever gotten, but I found that these were very friendly people who believe in what they do, and I was glad I tried their program. I've adopted some of the moves from their program, but mostly I've stayed with my old routine. I'll make a point here that none of this is religion based, for me. It's simply a way to keep my body flexible and for me, it works.
What brought me to this subject on Our Alzheimer's is a story on boston.com titled, "Breath, lives, memory: Yoga classes stretch mind, as well as body, of Alzheimer's patients."
I picked up on this story via a wonderful newsletter titled "Alzheimer's Daily News," that you, too, can sign up for on www.agelessdesing.com. I'm often inspired by this newsletter, and/or led to new studies. You may want to give it a try.
The boston.com article is about a woman named Patrice Flesch who leads yoga classes for people with Alzheimer's disease. I picked the following quote from the story to give you an idea of Flesch's philosophy.