I have so many things to be thankful for this weekend (and everyday) and one of them is my awesome Dad. Here is a post from my Dad, the yogi. I hope this is the first of many from his adventures on the mat. Enjoy, CJ
I’m a typical 66 years old male with a messed up lower back. Last summer I was using a cane for four months and missed a whole golf season. My doctor made it clear that I needed to lose weight and strengthen my core to better support my back.
My daughter (CJ), a Yoga teacher in White Rock ( I live in Parksville) has always encouraged me to practise Yoga but I wasn’t ready to try a Yoga class. In November I was fortunate to meet a yoga instructor who offered to give me private yoga lessons. I was more nervous than my first day at school, meeting Sarah and not knowing really what to expect.
My first practice was interesting to say the least. I am in this little room lying on my back beside Sarah who speaks to me softly while I am wondering what the heck is going on. I found out later this is called ‘Savasana’. I finally did relax and almost fell asleep when Sarah told me I had to get up. We started with a lot of stretches and eventually moved up to my hands and knees with more stretches and then standing with more stretches. The hour went by quickly. In fact it seemed like only a few minutes and I was back lying on the floor with Sarah putting a blanket over me talking me to sleep again. I went home feeling relaxed but still not convinced yoga was for me. The next morning my body ached like you feel when you have had a good workout. Could this Yoga thing really work?
I have been practicing for ten months and realize how much more there is to Yoga than the stretches I started with the first day. There are several styles or types of yoga of which I practise ‘Hatha’ Yoga. There are ‘Asanas’ or poses that require strength, balance and flexibility. I enjoy practising at home sometimes in the morning which invigorates me for the day and sometimes in the evening which is a great way to finish a busy day. It took me a couple of months before I attended my first yoga class but now I attend drop in classes whenever I can.
I meet with Sarah regularly and sometimes join other teachers at drop in classes. It is really amazing how knowledgeable Sarah and the other teachers are as to how the body works. They know what moves are good for me, keep me aligned and makes sure I don’t do anything that might hurt me. They are also very patient knowing we are each different. I found that you learn yoga over time. You are continuing to learn and improve as you go. I wished I had started to practice years ago but the good thing is I can continue to practise for the rest of my life.
So, what has it done?
I am stronger, more flexible and feel better than I have for years. I have lost 25 pounds and feel energized every day. My back is not cured but with greater core strength it does not bother me near as much as it did. “What’s more important than looking after your health”
Why do I keep practicing yoga? I am able to play with my grandkids when they visit and maybe try and keep up with my daughter CJ. “It also just makes me feel good”.
A lovely class with Sarah, my Dad's teacher. ( I love saying that.)