Tag Archive | yoga for over 50’s

Yoga for Anxiety

Photo from Sculptures by the Sea (Sydney) 2017

‘FEAR KNOCKED AT THE DOOR – FAITH ANSWERED – THERE WAS NO-ONE THERE’

Some time ago I attended a two day workshop by Sally Flynn which focused on how to reduce anxiety with regular yoga practice.  The topic is very close to my heart, to my personality.

What is anxiety?  It is “a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome”.  We all have different disposition and tolerance to it.

Anxiety is contracting us, draws us away from people – does not allow us to live life to the fullest.

According to ‘Beyond Blue’ on average one in four people – one in three women and one in five men – will experience anxiety at some stage in their life.  In a 12-month period over two million Australians experience anxiety.  We all know someone who is affected by it.

There are many ways to soothe ourselves, some of which will be unique to you.  Take time to get to know your ‘base line” experience, how you feel when you are not anxious, how do you feel before starting your yoga practice and note of whether anything feels different when you complete your routine.

Remind yourself, thoughts are just tangled wired – they will soften.

In general – yoga poses which open the chest and extend the arms help us to REACH OUT.

You know your body better than anybody else – listen to it.

Wear layers, be warm during your practice.  If you can dedicate a quiet space for it.

Below I would like to share five methods that have been tested by research and/or in my practice.

1.Breathing.

Deep belly breathing activates the parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system and slows down reactivity. Breathing slowly, deeply, can de-escalate a full-blown panic attack in a matter of minutes. Remembering to breathe through the day de-stresses you throughout your day, and helps you install calm as your real baseline.

 

2.Hand on the heart.

Neural cells around the heart activate during stress. Your warm hand on your heart centre calms those neurons down again, often in less than a minute. Hand on the heart works especially well when you breathe positive thoughts, feelings, images of safety and trust, ease and goodness, into your heart at the same time.

 

3. Poetry & Mantra.

Because poetry is metaphorical, imagistic, emotion and sense based, reciting poetry activates the right hemisphere of the brain which processes experience in a holistic, imagistic, emotion-sense based mode. Because the right hemisphere of the brain is rich in neuronal connections to the limbic system in the lower brain, including the alarm centre and emotional meaning centre of the amygdala, snuggling with a partner or a pet, drinking a warm, cup of tea, and reading poetry or reciting a mantra can soothe and calm your nerves in about ten minutes.

 

4. Meditation & Yoga Nidra.

Compassionate mindfulness meditation & Yoga Nidra are gentle ways to calm the mind and body and let things simply be, over time generating a steady inner calm that sustains you over the long haul.

 

5. The three minute breathing space.

A simple and accessible technique that can be practiced anywhere, anytime. It helps to find ‘ground’ again when we are experiencing overwhelm, and we can clear the clutter of reactivity to restore clarity, and make sound choices.

  1. Observation: what sensations, thoughts and sounds coming to you – 1 minute;
  2. Breath: notice where breath shows up in your body – 1 minute
  3. Body: breath into the body: – 1 minute;

Do it 3x a day – regardless whether you need it or not.

 

ASANAS (poses)

For each of these poses start with observing your current state, current ‘base line’ experience.

Garuda Mudra

  • Place right hand on chest;
  • Left hand over the right hand;
  • Link thumbs;
  • Pause to notice if anything feels different;
  • Take a couple of breaths while allowing yourself to feel the touch of your hands, letting the exhale settle.

Optinonal

Remind yourself of an image that you find reassuring, comforting

Repeat any words or phrases that are meaningful

 

So Ham

Meaning “I am that”, the mantra So Ham acknowledges that the energy that surrounds us is also the energy that we are – no separation – all is one.

If comfortable combine breath and arm movements.

  • Inhaling SO, we contain the vital energy – raise the arms;
  • Exhaling HAM, we absorb it as we settle, let go – lower the arms;
  • Repeat six times;
  • Pause to notice if anything feels different.

 

Meeting the Mood

Beginning by watching the breath or trying to slow it down may not be the most efficacious way of calming your anxiety.  Meet the anxiety, normalizing it with a slightly more rapid breath like “Stairstep.”

Stair Step Breath (Viloma or interrupted breathing) – for Anxiety

  • Inhale: take little steps through the nostrils, as though climbing a mountain

(usually 4 to 8 counts);

  • Sustain (hold) for four counts (as is accessible) at the top of the mountain; •
  • Exhale: slide down the mountain;

Practice two or three times.

 

Grounding & Settling

  • Try placing one hand gently on your forehead & the other hand on your abdomen.
  • Notice the feeling of the top hand against the skin of the forehead.
  • Now notice that the hand on the abdomen can tune into the movement of the tummy as you breathe in and out.

Spend a moment or two simply sitting with this.

Nothing to change unless you choose to.

Breathing in and breathing out.

 

Grounding – FOOT work 

When we are grounded we feel calmer and more connected to the earth and to ourselves.

You can use a tennis ball if you prefer or in the sand.

  • Stand comfortably;
  • Lower your eyes or let the gaze rest on one point;
  • Take your attention to your feet;
  • Now try lifting your toes, wriggling them and putting them back on the floor;
  • Now with your right foot, roll across the ball of the foot from the big toe to the little toe a few times, then go the opposite way – little toe to big toe;
  • Next see if you can stretch the arch by lifting your heel and reaching it back to the floor;
  • Then roll around the heel;
  • Finally try rolling the whole foot from side to side – inner arch to outer edge.

 

IMPORTANT – notice the sensations in the right foot AND the contrasting sensations in the left foot that HASN’T been massaged.

Change and try the same thing on the left foot.

When you’ve done both feet pause for about 5 seconds while you notice what sensations or feelings are presenting themselves.

 

Reaching OUT (sideways)

Take a comfortable seated or standing position

Tune into your connection to the ground

Place your hands on your abdominal or middle of your torso

Spend a few breaths here while noticing the movement as the abdominal expands and contracts with the inhale & exhale.

Now as you feel the beginnings of the inhale, let that be your cue to start moving the hands and arms (one or both) up and out – reaching out as far as feels comfortable

Just go as far as feels enough for today, understanding that this may change from day to day

Depending how it feels today, you might choose to remain in the ‘open’ position for a breath or two.  In that case, notice if you can bring your attention back to your middle each time you exhale (while maintaining the reaching out position).  What would it be like to extend your ‘reach’ all the way to your fingertips?

Next, notice when you are ready to bring the arms back down, and when your exhale is ready to begin, let that be your cue to slowly return the arms to the starting point at your middle.

Repeat this several times and choose the pace that best suits your breathing rhythm.

Expanding out as far as is comfortable, holding the expanded position if it feels okay, returning to home base as you’re ready or when you need to, all the while being let by your breathing. Remember to pause for about 20 seconds when you’re finished, and notice and sensations or feelings that are there.

 

Bonding with Gravity – SAVASANA with “TENSE” & RELAX

Lying on your back in a comfortable position, eyes closed:

  • Let your weight be supported by the earth. Notice any part that seems to be “hovering” weightlessly above the surface. Try to soften or melt all of your body towards gravity;
  • Now lift your head above an inch off the ground. Feel its full weight and relax it back to the earth; notice the difference;
  • Life one leg off the ground, feel its weight, relax it to the earth; notice the difference
  • Lift your pelvis off the ground, feel its weight, relax it to the earth; notice the difference
  • Lift an arm off the ground, feel its weight, relax it to the earth; notice the difference
  • Notice your full body weight resting on the ground;
  • Notice the full body here on the ground and the front surface of the body touching the space between the front of the body and the ceiling;
  • Begin slowly to pour the contents of your body towards one side and roll onto this surface (bring your arms along). Feel your weight drain into the earth;
  • Continue to roll slowly, pouring the fluid contents until you are resting on the front of your body. Release your front surface to the ground;
  • Roll very slowly onto the remaining side, pouring your contents;
  • Return to your back and nestle your whole body into the ground;
  • Slowly begin the transition to standing, remaining aware of your fluid contents with the pull of gravity;
  • Once standing in plumb line remain in open attention, noticing any sensations (thoughts, emotions, images) that occur. Add vision and continue awareness of gravity.

Bonding with gravity underlies all other movement patterns.  We must be able to release our weight down in order to push away, stand, walk tall.

Disclaimer:

This blog is written with good intentions but it is not substitute for professional counselling.

Benefits of yoga for older people

lotus yoga

In August 2015 I attended The Australian Yoga Therapy Conference which was organised by Enlightened Events. Various speakers covered a number of areas where yoga practice can be helpful, such as managing heart problems, increasing the immune system and mental illness in children.

The topic which was closest to my heart and body was about the benefits of yoga for older people. For this purpose I believe over 60 is when we are called an “older person”.

With ageing we experience some level of decline in vision, hearing and memory. Balance and muscle strength are often affected and anxiety and depression may increase along with sleep disorders.

 

So what can yoga offer us as we age?

 

Dr Shirley Telles, is an internationally acclaimed Yoga therapist, medical doctor and neuroscientist. She is the director of the Patanjali Research Foundation in Haridwar, India. Dr Shirley Telles presented the findings of her research into yoga and ageing (Oxford University Press will publish it sometimes in 2015).

Dr Shirley Telles’ studies have shown that:

  1. Yoga can increase bone mineral density (Judith et al., 2009)
  2. Yoga can increase muscle strength and prevent deterioration (Telles et. al., 2014)
  3. Yoga can reduce central obesity, associated with increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Telles et al., 2014
  4. Yoga can improve glycemic control and HbA(Ic) – useful to avoid and manage diabetes (Beena et al., 2013)
  5. Yoga can prevent deterioration of lung capacity (Manjunath et al., 2006)
  6. Reduce blood pressure (Chobanian et all., 2003)
  7. Improve cardiorespiratory efficiency (Papp et al., 2013)
  8. Improve primary working memory (Laveretsky et al., 2013)
  9. Enhance sleep (Manjunath et al., 2005)
  10. Induces a positive mental state (Wood, 1993)

 

Please note the above benefits are only achieved through regular yoga practice – over an extended period of time. It might take a few months before you notice the difference!

 

My students are typically over 50 and most of us have a number of pre-existing health conditions.

So how do I teach a class where there are several different “contraindications” are present?

I teach small classes (maximum 12 students) and modify the poses to suit the individual. It is not unusual that we have two or three variations happening for the same asana. Some students might need to use more props (blanket, block and maybe a chair) to gain the benefits of the poses. In my sequences I include ‘exercises’ which open the chest, keep the spine mobile and upright and we almost always practice standing poses to increase strength and balance. Whilst preparing for inversions fresh blood rushes to the brain and thus increases memory function. Of course students with high blood pressure would do modified inversions! Forward bends tend to calm the mind and slowing down the breath (especially lengthening the duration of the exhalation) reduces anxiety. I also believe in the social effect of practicing in a class environment. My aim is to teach the students poses which they can practice at home or during their travels.

For more information on my yoga background please refer to: About Mary

For timetable refer to: Classes

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me: tranquability@gmail.com  or 0408 29 6670.

Hope to see you on a mat near me!

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Our expectation in a new class and etiquette

lotus yoga

I started to practice in a “flowy” class which compliments my Iyengar style and I really enjoy it.  Most students are regulars and some of them arrive early and place the mat to their “usual spot”.

Have you noticed that we all have a favourite spot?  Who would have thought that yoga is like real estate – location … location!!!

As in most classes – a few students arrive late.  A few weeks ago I had to “uproot” four times to accommodate late comers and let me tell you I do not travel light when it comes to props.  As an older person with back problem I use more props than the mostly younger crowd in the class.  I sensed that the person next to me felt that my belongings took up too much space.  As the class was already in progress we did not discuss the issue but this experience made me think about our tolerance, our need for space, expectation in a class, consideration and respect of others. 

Let’s consider the space first: each yoga studio has a preferred way of setting up the room which suits the size and shape of the room best.  In the absence of the teacher’s direction I would set up my mat with the narrow end against the wall in a location that I do not have anybody directly opposite me (if the room is narrow it means staggering the mats).  This set up leaves enough space between the mats for props, jumpers etc.  In square shape rooms generally the wall sides fill up first and some students might be practicing in the middle of the studio.  Be aware of any windows behind you and leave your bigger props in storage until you need them!  In savasana it is better if your feet do not point towards a fellow student’s head.

I like exploring new studios and today I participated in a relaxation class close by.  Was not sure what to expect and was curious.  We spent most of the time laying on our back, releasing our hips, engaging and strengthening the pelvic floor and the core muscles.  After an hour I started to wonder if we will do anything else and felt that my shoulders are stiff.  We had background music from a DVD chanting “Govinda” almost continuously.  I do not practice or teach with music and at times I hoped for some quietness.  Eventually the teacher changed the music and we did some sitting poses with shoulder work.  The relaxation (Savasana) was very good and I finished the class in good spirits and my back feels better.  The moral of the story: each teacher has a different style and if we are new to her/his class we need be open to the experience and embrace it!

Based on my 25 years on the mat I complied the rough etiquette for attending yoga classes:

For students:

  • Please be punctual, ready to start practicing at advertised time; turn off your mobile phone; do not eat 1.5 – 2 hours prior class;
  • For big classes – if there is a designated area for personal belongings use it,
  • Advise the teacher if you have any medical issues, menstruating or pregnant,
  • As a student you are expected to take more responsibility for your learning than in normal school environment – you know your body better than your teacher; if something does not feel right (sharp pain) come out of the pose!
  • Generally there will be an easier and more advanced variation for most poses. Choose the one which fits you best on the day;
  • Please keep your area safe and pack up all of your props at the end of the class;
  • Wearing layers is helpful, apart from that wear comfortable clothing;
  • Enjoy your class!

For teachers:

  • Arrive early so you have a chance to talk to your students – especially if someone is new to the class;
  • Start and finish on time;
  • Be respectful of your students, ask if they want an adjustment or not,
  • Create a safe environment for all;
  • Be aware of your limits, sometimes referring a student to a specialist might be the best advice;
  • Keep up your own practice and participate in professional development;
  • Enjoy teaching the class – remember you learn as much from your students as they learn from you!

See my earlier blog: how find the right teacher

Relax and Renew workshop on Sunday 21st June in Randwick.  See blog and timetable for details!

Keep up your practice!

Mary

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NEWSLETTER~March 2015

lotus yoga

Dear Yogis,

The Year of the Sheep is truly underway and it is an opportune time to reflect on 2015 so far.

RANDWICK – Over 50’s

We have been practicing in Randwick Junction for two months now.  Based on your feedback we all love our new the studio, good location, lots of natural light, loads of props, colourful mats – all clean and tidy.

Student numbers vary between four to twelve (per class).  Some of you come almost every week whilst others when time permits.  There is a good mix of ‘old’ students from Clovelly (some of you have been practicing with me for a few years) and some ‘new’ students who joined our likeminded, health conscious group.

My intention is to keep the classes relatively small (compared to gyms) to allow me to continue to provide individual attention to each and every one of you.  The focus of our yoga practice over 50 is keeping the joints mobile, maintaining or even increasing strength and balance.

Some of us re-group after class for a coffee.  After a careful testing process we selected the coffee shop next door as our favourite spot where gluten free food is available and the freshly squeezed juices are lovely.

In an effort to keep my small business sustainable the price for the class will increase from $20 to $25 (to cover the increased overheads). The new price will start after Easter, on 11th ‘April 2015.

As a reward to those of you who come to the class regularly I will offer 10 class passes (with 3 months expiry date) at the current rate of $20 per class. i.e. for $200 upfront investment you would be saving $50.  You can purchase these $200 passes till 30 June 2015.  There will be some conditions such as: if the pass expires you will need to pay extra $5, no refunds and passes after 1 year will not be accepted.  Consideration will be given if you are seriously ill.

Some of you have expressed an interest to practice during Easter, so at this stage I am planning to teach on Sat 4th April at the usual time of 11.30 a.m.  I will confirm it closer to the time.

ROSE BAY – Golden Yogis

Student numbers in Rose Bay have steadily increased since the beginning of the year.  Some of you have been practicing in the class since I started to teach it a year ago.

We now have a new computer system to record attendances and associated finances.  Hoping to get faster at registering you!

I presume we will not have a class on Easter Friday, 3rd April 2015.

Thank you for all of you supporting my classes!

Namaste,

Mary

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Yoga to cure Hangover

herring-fish-business-suit-drinking-beer-bottle-100216907 ‘Hangover’ is the trifecta in my blogs for the Christmas / New Year 2015 festive season, the previous topics were digestion and jet lag. The last time I had a hangover I was in high school so I needed to do some research into the subject.  Please do not visualise me lying in a gutter (on my favourite pink yoga mat) and slurry AUM’s in the name of research…  I consulted a senior teacher, Tracey as my imagination stopped at the forward bend with the forehead supported.  It appears there is more to this sequence that meets eye. If you do decide to practice yoga do it slowly, be gentle with yourself, learn from the experience and move on. The aim of the practice is to let go of the toxic thoughts, release toxins from the body – by doing twisting poses. The main points:

  • Hydration, hydration, hydration (if the headache persists 2 paracetamol is also useful and some rehydration salts).
  • Due to the acid in the alcohol your joints might have tightened.  Loosen up your joints, move your head side to side, stretch and flex your toes and fingers, rotate the ankles and the wrist in both directions, open the hips.
  • Avoid inversions, especially if you if you are experiencing nausea, heartburn or indigestion.
  • Spinal twists will help to release the toxins from the liver.
  • Abdominal pose like Navasana (Boat) will help indigestion and gas).
  • When you do forward bends rest the forehead either on the floor, on a block or even on a chair as I demonstrated in the “jet lag” blog.  Forward bends calm the brain.

Suggested sequence: Lay down in Savasana with the head higher than chest, chest higher than pelvis (i.e. sit in front rolled up blanket or bolster, slowly lay back so your spine is supported, use a folded up blanket or towel under your head.) Turn your neck slowly from side to side, co-ordinate with your breath.

  • Keep your arms resting on the floor, slightly away from your torso, palms facing up.  As you inhale bend the arms, leaving the elbows on the floor.  Start rotating the wrists, then extend the fingers then make a fist.
  • Feet approx. hip width apart, bring the big toes to touch.  Start rotating the ankles away from each other. Do a few cycles and reverse the direction.

Rollover to your right side and come up to standing and do the following standing poses,

  • Parivritta Trikonasana (revolving triangle)
  • Parivritta Parsvakonasana (revolving side angle pose)

Sitting twist, such as Maricyasana, do the open version, one leg bent, elbow to inside of the knee.  Sit on the edge of a folded up blanket, sit up tall, if you need use a block behind your spine. Sit in Badha Konasana (cobbler pose) to release the hips. Forwards bend with the head supported on a chair (Pachimottanasana or Janu sirsana).

IMG_1708

Supported forward bend

Savasana or modified Viparita Karini with calves resting on the seat of the chair.

Savasana

Savasana

IMG_1688

Modified Viparita Karini

The success of all these poses or the need for it will depend on the size of the hangover.  You will probably not feel great while doing the yoga (your joints might hurt) and backbends could make you feel sick if your liver is really put out. A good night’s sleep and an alcohol free day just for good measure will help with your recovery. You might want to experience with essential oils on your eye bag or on Kleenex tissues under your forehead (try lavender or peppermint). Enjoy NY Eve and the rest of 2015! Mary  

Yogis’ Christmas Survival kit

I have complied a few poses which will aid digestion, help you to relax.  In a separate blog I will include poses to reduce the effect of jet lag.

Poses to do if you overindulged

I am an expert in this area…

The Ayurvedic guideline is to have 1./3 of your stomach filled with food, 1/3 with liquid and the remaining 1/3 is “space” to allow digestion.  I tend to misjudge the 1/3 food bit…

Generally it is not recommended to practice yoga with full stomach however there is one pose which is “do-able” in “emergency”.

  1. Supta Virasana (laying down hero pose) – two variations
Supta Virasana

Supta Virasana

Easier version of Supta Virasana

Easier version of Supta Virasana

The aim in this pose is to lengthen the trunk.  Whilst you are in this asana you quadracep muscles will be extended too.

Most of us would not be comfortable laying back without support. For support you can use a bolster (or fold up two blankets).

If your ankles, knees or back does not allow you to lay back over a bolster use a folded-up chair against the wall and make sure it won’t slide away.  I suggest to sit on some elevation such as a block or a book as this will ease off the pressure from your knees.  .

Whichever version you do sit up tall before laying back and extend the tailbone away from your waist to lengthen to lower back.  Keep your knees either together or hip widths apart, a strap will assist.  Use a rolled up blanket, towel or a small cushion to support the back of your head and neck.  Once you established that you are comfortable in this pose stay in it for a few minutes.

If you have more time and energy try the following sequence to aid digestion:

There are 5 poses in this series.  The food has to travel approx. 11 meters from entry to exit so the aim is to help the digestion process by pushing the food down.

These poses lengthen the trunk, open the sides, twist, squeeze and massage the organs in the abdominal cavity and finally assist towards elimination.

1.

Urdhva Hastasana - on toes

Urdhva Hastasana – on toes

2.

Side opening

Side opening

3.

Twisting the trunk

Twisting the trunk

4.

Twist -Inspecting the heels

Twist -Inspecting the heels

5.

Squatting twist

Squatting twist

Brief description of the above poses, I assume you have done enough yoga to safely go into the poses and come out of the poses with awareness and control.

1. Stand in Tadasana, inhale and raise the arms in line with your shoulders, interlace the fingers and on the next inhalation raise the arms above your head (or you can hold the left wrist with the right hand) and come up on your toes.  Exhale lower the arms and bring the heels down. repeat a few times (4 to 8).

2. Stand in Tadasana, inhale raise the arms in line with your shoulders, interlace your fingers and raise the arms above your head .   On exhalation extend the right side of the body, keep the chest and hips to face the front. Change the interlacing of your fingers and repeat on the other side.  Repeat the cycle a few times.

3. Stand in Tadasana, inhale raise the arms shoulder height and with an exhalation twist to one side.  Allow the whole trunk to turn. Inhale back to the centre and exhale to the other side.  Repeat the cycle a few times.

4. Lay down on your abdomen, either have your elbows on the floor (like I have) or straighten your arms.  Tuck the toes under and on exhalation turn your head to inspect your heels (try to see both of them). Inhale, turn back to the centre and on exhalation do the other side. Repeat the cycle.  This pose will massage your internal organs.

5. Start with squatting.  It is a twisting movement, bring one knee towards the floor and twist away from it.  Repeat on the other side and complete a number of cycles.  This pose will help with elimination and it is the last one in this series.

Poses to relax

If you feel you need to take time off try one or all of the following poses.

Modified Viparita Karini

Modified Viparita Karini

Supta Badha Konasana

Supta Badha Konasana

When the going gets tough the tough go to Savasana

WISHING YOU A SAFE CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY, HEALTHY 2015!

Mary

Tree pose (Vrksasana)

 

Tree pose

Tree pose

 

 

The Tree pose has a number of benefits and it is a slightly neglected asana.

There is a lot of grace in the pose.

Standing on one leg helps to improve balance, strengthens the ankles, legs and the muscles which stabilize the hips.

Being in this pose gives a good indication of ones mental state on the day. Of course trees move / sway a bit and as there are many types of trees – so we all do a slightly different version of the tree pose.

To avoid injury in Iyengar style yoga we pay a lot of attention to safely going in and out of the poses (and graciously possible).

For beginners I recommend practicing the pose against a wall or preferable in a corner as per the photo below (the photo was taken in the Bungle Bungles National Park hence the shoes).

Tree Pose with wall

Tree Pose with wall

  1. Stand tall in Tadasana (mountain pose), with your back against the wall, big toe bases touching, heels are either together or slightly apart, feel that you have equal weight in both feet, raise your toes, extend the toes and place them back onto the floor;
  2. Quietly transfer the weight to the left leg, without pushing the left hip out ;
  3. Bend the right knee so the right heel lifts off the floor, come up on your toes;
  4.  Turn the right knee out (work from your right hip);
  5. Slowly bring the right foot up (help with your right hand) and allow the right knee to rest on the wall in front of you.  Variations are: if you do not feel stable keep your toes on the floor, if you are more confident bring the right foot either to the inside of your left calf or higher up to the inner thigh.  Be careful – do not push on your left knee, have the foot either below or above the left knee;
  6. Keep the standing leg strong, pull up the knee cap and the quadriceps and work the inner leg. If you do not work your inner leg the right foot will slide off – so we cannot really blame the fabric of our pants!
  7. Keep your chest, hips and face in one direction (i.e forward);
  8. Keep your chin parallel to the floor, throat soft, look with soft gaze in front of you – eye level or slightly above
  9. Bring your hands in together in front of you in Namaste or more experienced yogis bring your hands above your head, resting the heels of the hands on the crown of your head;
  10. Stay in the pose for a minute on so (on each side);
  11. Coming out of the pose: release the arms and slowly release the right leg back to the floor;
  12. Find your balance by standing in Tadasana for to-three cycles of your breath;
  13. Turn around and REPEAT on the other side.

Once you mastered the Tree pose against the wall try it free standing, facing the wall.  Stand close enough to wall so your fingertips can touch it. Only take your hands off the wall if your balance is good on the day.

I recommend to practice this pose regularly (daily).

Keeping the balance over 50 is an essential part of ageing gracefully!

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