Tag Archive | asana

We are on the move to Randwick Junction – from 10th January 2015

lotus yoga

Yoga for over 50’s will move from Clovelly to Randwick Junction to a bigger, well equipped studio.

 

First  class will be held on Saturday 10th January 2015.

 

Time: 11.30 a.m. to 12.45 p.m.

Cost: $20 per class

See details below:

Address: Level 1, 165 Alison Road Randwick Junction (cnr Belmore Road)

Map Yoga Light Randwick

Map

165 Alison Road~Yoga Light

165 Alison Road, Randwick – entrance is the purple door

Foot care over 50 and healthy yoga feet

 

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My zebra toes

As a beginner yogi I used to think that I might not remember the names of my fellow students but I would recognise them from their toes/feet!

As yoga is done barefoot we cannot ignore our feet and the changes which occur was we age.

My feet problem started about 15 years ago. As a keen bushwalker could not wear proper booths, you know the ones with good grip and ankle support. I used wear Rockport walking shoes with very soft orthotics and no orthotics for every day wear. As the years passed by I noticed that I wore my orthotics more and more often. The beginning of the “end of the pretty shoes” came in 2008.  Whilst walking the cobble stoned streets of Quebec (Canada) I developed a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. After several months of stretching exercises (asanas), a new pair of orthotics and a few new pairs of shoes later I was pain free again!

Feet are very complex, we have 26 bones in each foot, they need ample space in our shoes to distribute and balance the weight of the body!

Bones of the foot

Drawing courtesy of posturown.com

Tom from  Podiatry First http://www.podiatryfirst.com.au/ was assisting me on my journey from pretty shoes to “realistic” shoes.  Tom’s comments on the ageing feet:

  • The joints should be moved/exercised to the full range movements, “use it or lose it”;
  • Walk whenever you can, walking in the sand is beneficial;
  • Feet changes with age, it is mostly hereditary;
  • As we age the intrinsic muscles (the little muscles) in the foot get over-powered by the big muscles;
  • The fat pad on the bowl of the foot dissolves;
  • Foot pain is abnormal; pain can be eased by wearing “realistic” shoes and orthotics.  Note pronation is not a disease;

To counteract ageing practice spreading, stretching the toes to create space between them! Stretching the hamstring muscles will keep the knees healthy. If you have injured knees practice stretching the legs whilst laying down (supta padangusthasana).

Foot aliments, if left unattended they alter our body mechanics, our whole posture is affected by foot problems – which gradually will progress to pain in the ankles, knees, hips, back and neck and head.

The combination of walking in wide shoes (weight bearing exercise) and yoga is the supreme way to rehabilitate your feet!

yoga mat

TRANQUIL YOGA FOR OVER 50’s

The website’s name is “TRANQUABILITY”, where tranquillity meets ability.

Both of these terms mean different things to different people.  To me tranquility means walking on the beach or just admiring hilly landscape at sunset.  Ability covers a wide range, from young age (learning to talk and walk) through teenager years, middle age towards old age (where ability might just mean coming down the stairs unaided).

Please keep reading on – especially if you are over 50.  We live longer and we need to be prepared!  60 is the new 40!

Yoga (which means to unite the body, mind and spirit) helps us slowing down the ageing.

We need to understand and accept the cycle of life and instead of resisting the change and developing a negative attitude towards life we need to activate our willpower, our intelligence.

Our health is very precious and we either have to allocate resources (time, energy and money) to staying healthy or we will need to apply more resources to being sick and recovery.

The most obvious sign of ageing is change of posture (shortening and rounding of the spine).  The effect of the rounded spine is collapsed chest which restricts breathing. This is why it so important to keep the spine supple and to open the chest.  Movement lubricates the muscles, ligaments and joints.  In conjunction western medicine yoga helps to control/reduce high blood pressure.  As the metabolism slows down we are prone to put on weight, so staying active is even more important.  Yoga poses stretch the trunk, massage the internal organs and help with digestion and trimming down.  In many cases with ageing come orthotics and lace up shoes.  Yoga is done in barefoot, toes; muscles in the feet are stretched!  We need to practice standing on one leg to keep our balance.  Pranayama (breath control) helps us to cool down and relax.  The use of props (especially for older beginners) makes it easier to get the correct alignment to allow us to gain the benefit(s) of each pose.  Supported poses restore energy.  Meditation helps to clear the mind, reduces anxiety associated with ageing.

With menopause the body becomes stiffer and due to the hormonal changes one might become irritable.  Certain Pranayama practices help to control hot flashes, have calming effect and “solutes to the sun” provide gentle form of exercise.  Cutting down on coffee / tea also helps to reduce hot flashes.

Brief Summary – how yoga poses help us to slow down ageing:

  • Standing poses for building and maintaining muscle and bone strength, increasing stamina and balance, helps to prevent osteoporosis;
  • Forward-bends, Back-bends Lateral poses and Twists to keep the spine flexible; to reduce shortening and rounding of the spine;
  • Inversions for reversing the downward pull of gravity, the hart rests and more blood flows to the brain which helps with memory function;
    • Reclining positions restore energy and for relaxation

One can start practicing yoga at any age.  Once you know how to do the poses safely yoga skills are transferable, can practice anywhere.

Yoga is not a competitive sport; it is about connecting with yourself, accepting yourself and being gentle with yourself.

Tips to start the day:

Over 50 we are stiffer in the morning so I start the day with some warm up poses, gently circling the ankles, wrists and neck combined with a few gentle twists and maybe stretching the hamstrings by extending one leg up at a time and using a belt over the ball of the foot – all of these in bed before getting up.

It is recommended in Ayurvedic science to drink a glass of water after rising, it will help the kidneys to function better.

Do a few cat and downward facing dog poses and maybe a few cycles of “salute to the sun”, open your chest to welcome a new day!

Take your health in to your hand and start exercising regularly – preferable on a mat near me! 

 Note: this is a general guide to yoga over 50, written with love and good intentions and does not intend to replace medical advice.

Namaste