Over age 40 symptoms of self-neglect such as weight gain, high blood pressure, poor digestion, stiff and achy body, insomnia, and anxiety begin to manifest themselves. By aiding in detoxifying the body and stimulating and balancing the endocrine system, which among other things regulates aging, healing, metabolism and immunity, yoga can help turn things around and contribute to better health. There are numerous styles and teachers who will emphasize different aspects of this ancient practice. Some practitioners favor the traditional teaching methods whereas others who may not be looking for “enlightenment” in the traditional sense may simply be seeking a way to manage their stress and find aching back relief.
Headstands may not be in the cards for everyone. However if you spend a few hours a week doing some stretching, relaxing breathing exercises and being still, you will notice a profound change in your awareness of yourself and your surroundings. You will manage stress better and improve your posture. It will be easier to concentrate and you will sleep better. Research out of the Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard’s McLean Hospital found that healthy subjects who practiced yoga for just one hour had a 27 percent increase in levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that boosts mood and lessens anxiety compared with a control group that simply sat and read for an hour. The transformative power of yoga is profound.
Yoga provides time for personal observation of your physical and mental state. It’s a time for reflection and a time for you to let go of physical and emotional residue left behind by your hectic schedule. Many individuals over 40 can no longer participate in sports that involve impact or agility. For them, yoga provides a fun and safe alternative. Yoga is a continuous journey; I've had the good fortune to practice with several amazing teachers including Amanda Reh, Yoga in Lake Eola Park and Allison Egan Datwani pictured above. For more on Allison visit https://www.allisonegandatwani.com