Sore shoulder, achy back, cracking knees – could those be the signs of getting older that is the inevitability for us all? Or rather are those the signs of a body that hasn’t been used, perhaps mis-used or even over-used? As a Yoga Teacher to the 50+ community, I hear these physical complaints alot and see people take two common approaches to their “over 30” body.
- Get Back in Shape NOW! This approach happens when you get that sudden jolt that you are older and your body is not working the same. You can’t depend on your strength or stamina like you used to. You figure you have to “Get serious!” So, perhaps you go to the gym, lift weights, start a cardio program, play tennis, and even rowing is a new approach to getting back in shape. But asking our bodies to go from 0 to 60 is asking for trouble! Injuries most often come because of over-use and mis-use. Think of rotator cuff issues, tendinitis or pulled hamstrings. If your wanting to get back in shape, think Slow and Easy rather than Quick and Hard!
- Better to Not Move! I’ve heard and seen this strategy and it has never made sense to me. I work with people in a lot of pain that try to “freeze and numb” that area so it doesn’t act up. I get it! But, our bodies are meant to move, twist, bend, reach and squat. Moving creates circulation and circulation is what helps us heal. Losing our ability to move easily and gracefully in life evolves over many years of low or non-use of our joints and muscles. If your are feeling and or are in pain, think Gentle and Slow rather than Freeze and Numb!
I’m sure you’ll guess what my advice is for feeling better in your body again! Yoga… but Gentle Yoga. Which includes Chair Yoga, Somatic Yoga and Yoga Therapy. Yoga moves the moving parts of you in natural and effective ways. It can prepare you to row safely, squat while gardening or lift your growing grandchildren. And just a little bit every day goes a long way!
Here’s to enjoying life in our 30+ bodies! This Gentle Yoga sequence can start loosening up the tight areas. Always move to your comfortable range of motion and make sure you can take deep breaths!