Thursday, January 20, 2011
One of the many things that attracted me to the practice of yoga, from the very first class that I took, was the belief that we are never too young, or too old to make changes in our lives to improve our health and well being .
We can always take new baby steps that support a healthier tomorrow. The yogi's would say that spring time (with all the new fresh spring energy in the air) is a great time to break old habits, connect with a healthy vision for yourself and try something new to support the vision. I see so many examples of people in my work who are taking little and big steps to make changes in their lives and it is very inspiring. My own mother (who is 78 now) starting smoking when she was 11 and became a heavy smoker. She tried to quit several times when I was a teenager, and a young adult but just couldn't do it. At the age of 72 she was diagnosed with a double aneurysm and had to have surgery. She smoked her last cigarette on the night before she went into the hospital and never had another. She never told any of us that she was going to try and quit - something inside her changed and she just did it. She no longer has a smokers cough and has taken up exercising in the last few years. I guess her vision of her health changed when she received the diagnosis. My dad is 83 and grew up in England eating lots of beef, pork, desserts, bread soaked in bacon fat etc.
My dad has always loved to eat his and has struggled with his weight his whole life. At the age of about 75 his arthritis, asthma and other health concerns were affecting him, and so he made the decision to switch to eating organic, vegetarian food (with some organic meat once in a while). Now, when I go to visit him he is always giving me updates on the latest foods that are good for us and is always willing to share new recipes and new ideas for health and well being. Both of my parents made big changes in their 70's and have learned a lot in the process - and they are healthier..
When I plan my weekly yoga lessons, I put together a sequence of postures that is focused on some vision that I have chosen such as opening the hips, strengthening the spine etc. I think that we can all sequence our lives in a way that supports whatever vision we have for ourselves. Creating a sequence and then cultivating sincere focus and attention will help us work towards that vision. We are all different and we all different visions for ourselves... what is important is know what you want and what small, manageable steps you can take towards fulfilling your dreams. Whether it is to become more active, to eat a little better, to feel more connected to the community, to have more fun, etc. - it all starts with a vision.