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Yoga is a holistic discipline which uses physical postures and an awareness of breath to help still and focus the mind. We include both men and women, and are either beginners or have little experience. We wear comfortable clothing that allows easy movement, and bring a mat and a blanket.
For 2019-20 the group took a different format. Instead of three blocks of 8 weeks each with a different group we operated for 21 weeks (one week was cancelled due to Covid -19) with the same membership. This structure has allowed attendees to develop and improve their practice over the year. It has been pleasing to hear how people have benefitted, recording increased flexibility, improved posture, balance and sleep.
Yoga has much to offer the older person. It is not all about being bendy. Gaining strength is just as important, particularly as we age. Developing an awareness of one’s own body is crucial, its strengths and limitations. Many postures can be adapted to accommodate individual needs so no-one should feel they cannot participate.
In our focus on pranayama we learn to control our breath. At its most basic this means we breathe more deeply and consciously with all the resultant benefits this has for improved oxygenation of the body, the release of toxins and the calming effects on the mind.
We always finish our session with relaxation. The ‘undoing’ is as important as the doing – learning how to let go and be still is as essential as learning how to move. This is always a popular part of the class!
Above all the group has been a lot of fun and generated laughter and a positive energy.
The benefits cited by members of the group included:
Greater flexibility and joint mobility and using muscles that have not been used in a while
Feeling relaxed & calm
One member commented; I have always wanted to try yoga and lacked confidence. I feel safe to try but not be judged.