Yoga Benefits for All Ages

The older we are the more rewarding and essential yoga becomes.

About three years ago Patricia Becker visited my home to familiarize me with Yoga. I have been receiving her wise counselBill Reller June 5, 2015 ever since. I was a skeptic but now a believer! Particularly because of Patricia and who she is as a person.

I had visited three knee replacement surgeons who generally provided the same advice: not yet. But I was hurting. Today, although I have knee discomfort, I generally can walk anywhere I want to go, hike 5-10 miles per week at age 80! While there are many explanations for my improvement the smart money is on the support provided by Patricia in providing me with flexibility, balance, muscle strength, breath awareness, and most important, confidence. No two sessions are the same, each is tailored to my needs, and each day’s effort is planned in advance.

Patricia is a unique person totally committed to Yoga. It really is her religion. She strives as much for my happiness as my physical well-being. We end each session with the word “Namaste”-the divinity within me greets the divinity within you.

Bill Reller,
Retired Businessman, Palo Alto,

You can’t beat the one-on-one attention of a private yoga sessions.

No experience required on your part.


5 Ways to Modify Yoga Poses as We Age!

1. More  Stretching
Always begin by stretching. Muscles need to be warm to function effectively, maybe as long as 12-15  minutes. You can include;   twists, cross-legged forward bends, stretching with arms overhead and doing a twist in both directions and side bends,  extended forward standing bend with arms over head and some knee flexes from side to side. Watch you flexibility continue to increase.

2. More Restorative Postures
Bringing the body to balance and flexibility is a benefit of any yoga practice. However, an extended focus on restorative yoga postures is a grounding and calming experience. It’s a way to let go of mind clutter and decompress from a stressful day. Putting your legs up the wall is a great posture to fully open your heart and pay more attention to the breath. Child’s pose is another way to be fully present to your mind, body and spirit.

3. More Neck Rolls
Neck rolls sound simple, right? You may think it’s kind of an okay thing to do in yoga, but the neck roll movement is so very important to the base of our neck, upper back, shoulders and to the all around line of our spine. One intention in yoga is to keep the neck vertebrae in line with the vertebrae of the spin, which forms a straight line from the crown of the head down to the lumber and sacrum. So spend more time with head rolls rather than glossing through it.

4. More Knee Work in Chaturanga
Putting your knees down first on the floor. That puts less weight on your back, shoulder and arms as you lower yourself down to the mat. This will still strengthen all the muscles involved in the upper back and arms,  without the added physical stress.

5. More Time in Savasana
Savasana or corpse pose is the most important posture in a yoga practice. Don’t get antsy because most everything you want to do can wait! With a more meditative and purposeful yoga practice, you give yourself due and mindful respect.  Feel the benefits of letting go and gaining acceptance as you end your practice.

ACCEPTANCE
Sometimes a (temporary) physical limitation or healing injury can teach you more about the profound benefits of yoga than you could imagine. Go for the longevity of your yoga and meditation practice. Honor your body with greater awareness. Each one of us is perfectly imperfect!

adapted & edited from HuffingtonPost

Holiday Share Faire – sponsored by Transition Palo Alto

Holiday Share Faire – sponsored by Transition Palo Alto

Drive thru the magnificent Redwood to the studio!

Sunday, December 14,   1 to 3 pm

Cubberley Community Center – Room H-6 (at the end near Piazza’s)
4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

Bring garden produce, food, books, toys, clothes, and or holiday decorations to share.

Join in some fabulous mini- classes and events!

Including Hatha Yoga for your back, neck, shoulders, hands and wrists!

Hatha Yoga – Patricia Becker
Growing succulents – Stephanie Erskine

Live Music – Herb Moore
Solar Oven Demonstration – Diane Ruddle
Wreath Making – Marianne Mueller (bring your plant material)   and much more!

Email me with your yoga requests?

PatricaiaJoyBecker@gmail.com


5 Top Reasons to Pracitce Yoga at All Ages

1. Cognitive Resiliencyolder people doing yoga

Yoga’s process of drawing distinction between body parts, sensations and degrees of effort supports increased self-awareness, and balance. By coordinating different and often contrasting regions of the body, both sides of the brain communicate better, which could be linked to improved memory and decision-making skills.

Engaging in new physical routines builds and strengthens brain pathways. This action of neuroplasticity has been shown to increase intelligence.

2. Improved Circulation

Breathing practices alone will help to increase movement in the upper back and chest at a time in the aging process where this region is often stiff, dehydrated and compressed. Regular yoga practice can also act as a preventative measure for pneumonia in older populations that are especially vulnerable to this sometimes fatal condition.

When gravity has been pressing down on the sphincters, vessels and cavities of our bodies for decades, the fullness of circulation can deplete and pulmonary issues are more likely. With age and habit, connective tissues harden, leading to discomfort and inflammation.

The dynamic movement sequences in a typical yoga class cause pressure and release for the organs and connective tissues that hold the body together, thought to work like a gentle massage for these areas. Whenever we increase blood flow to an area of the body, that innate healing intelligence activates, improving our odds to fit off stress and its consequences.

3. Sustained Strength and Flexibility

With age, our joints and bones become more vulnerable to fractures and inflammation, but yoga’s signature method of low-impact, resistance training builds muscle tone and strength. Even a gentle practice with just a few weight-bearing poses can help retain strength and stave off issues related to arthritis. That adage about “being set in their ways” isn’t so far off in this case. Habits and a more sedentary lifestyle will atrophy muscle tissue, causing weakness and poor circulation. But, hatha yoga encourages the body to lengthen muscle fibers that are often short and stressed, increasing flexibility and also resiliency.

4. Improved Focus and Willpower

Concentrating is difficult enough in our busy, over-stimulated modern world.  When that kapha influence of laying low and keeping cool are the signature influences of this stage of life, willpower and the motivation to exercise or meditate can be daunting (especially if regular exercise and mindfulness work isn’t part of the daily routine). A regular hath yoga practice can quell the stiff inertia of immobility without the over-exertion of more athletic exercise programs.

5. To Maintain Well-being

Getting into the healthy habit of a regular yoga practice promotes socializing, sharing and community building. Mindfulness, resiliency in the body-mind, and honoring the aging process for what it is, all help to maintain wellness. Living a healthy, active life aids in increasing the feel-good hormones in the brain that elevate mood. Also, having cross-generations mingle together in the supportive environment of a yoga class sets a great model for younger generations who have outdated ideas about what it means to grow older.

Like wise-elders types – can dole out some pretty wonderful insights about growing up and getting closer to death. They talk about  how yoga makes them feel young and strong.

If we are really only as young as our spine is healthy, could you imagine what our world would be like if our oldest tribe members were backbending their way to the grave. 

Via Niki Saccareccia’s blog

Beginning Yoga: Barriers of Entry

Yoga is very popular. It’s everywhere. It seems like everyone does it. And yet, if you don’t currently do yoga, it can be difficult and intimidating to begin.

What are the barriers of entry?

For starters, yoga poses are hard. The classical form of most poses is inaccessible to most people. We are constantly bombarded by images in the media of pretty people and celebrities doing flexible and strong poses. They make the most difficult poses look easy, enticing us to try this ancient discipline with it’s many benefits. However, our initial attempts rarely match our ideas about how yoga is “supposed” to feel or look.

We’ve all had this moment…

Meditation is also hard. Have you ever tried to sit still and find mental and emotional clarity and stillness? “My back hurts…I’m hungry…we are out of milk…” Sound familiar?

Yoga culture itself can be strange. Do you need tight and bright exercise clothing? Do you need to talk in new-agey self-help slogans? Do you need to wear beads around your neck and your wrists? Do you need to have an OM sticker on your car, or tattooed on your body?

According to the 2012 study “Yoga in America:”

  • 20.4 million Americans currently participate in yoga
  • Almost 105 million Americans are interested but have so far not participated, or have participated in the past, and would like to start again.

And yet, the benefits are many:

On its most surface level, yoga is a challenging and fun discipline that keeps the body fit.Noah in Mountain-Pose-1-e1401397539434
It regulates the internal organs and balances the circulatory, respiratory, and hormonal systems.

Yoga alleviates stress, aids in the healing of physical injuries and illnesses.

Yoga helps us to reclaim our general sense of well-being; physically, emotionally, and spiritual.

What are your barriers of entry? Or, what were your barriers of entry?

For more information on YOGAMAZÉ101: 40 Days of Yoga to Change Your Life, or to register for the course, go to: http://yogamaze.net/yoga-101-practice/

editation is also hard. Have you ever tried to sit still and find mental and emotional clarity and stillness? “My back hurts…I’m hungry…we are out of milk…” Sound familiar?

Yoga culture itself can be strange. Do you need tight and bright exercise clothing? Do you need to talk in new-agey self-help slogans? Do you need to wear beads around your neck and your wrists? Do you need to have an OM sticker on your car, or tattooed on your body?

According to the 2012 study “Yoga in America:”

  • 20.4 million Americans currently participate in yoga
  • Almost 105 million Americans are interested but have so far not participated, or have participated in the past, and would like to start again.

And yet, the benefits are many:

On its most surface level, yoga is a challenging and fun discipline that keeps the body fit.
It regulates the internal organs and balances the circulatory, respiratory, and hormonal systems.

Yoga alleviates stress, aids in the healing of physical injuries and illnesses.

Yoga helps us to reclaim our general sense of well-being; physically, emotionally, and spiritual.

What are your barriers of entry? Or, what were your barriers of entry?

– See more at: http://blog.yogamaze.net/?p=1#sthash.RDgppt6H.dpuf

What are the barriers of entry?

For starters, yoga poses are hard. The classical form of most poses is inaccessible to most people. We are constantly bombarded by images in the media of pretty people and celebrities doing flexible and strong poses. They make the most difficult poses look easy, enticing us to try this ancient discipline with it’s many benefits. However, our initial attempts rarely match our ideas about how yoga is “supposed” to feel or look.

– See more at: http://blog.yogamaze.net/?p=1#sthash.RDgppt6H.dpuf

What are the barriers of entry?

For starters, yoga poses are hard. The classical form of most poses is inaccessible to most people. We are constantly bombarded by images in the media of pretty people and celebrities doing flexible and strong poses. They make the most difficult poses look easy, enticing us to try this ancient discipline with it’s many benefits. However, our initial attempts rarely match our ideas about how yoga is “supposed” to feel or look.

– See more at: http://blog.yogamaze.net/?p=1#sthash.RDgppt6H.dpuf

What are the barriers of entry?

For starters, yoga poses are hard. The classical form of most poses is inaccessible to most people. We are constantly bombarded by images in the media of pretty people and celebrities doing flexible and strong poses. They make the most difficult poses look easy, enticing us to try this ancient discipline with it’s many benefits. However, our initial attempts rarely match our ideas about how yoga is “supposed” to feel or look.

– See more at: http://blog.yogamaze.net/?p=1#sthash.RDgppt6H.dpuf

Yoga is very popular. It’s everywhere. It seems like everyone does it. And yet, if you don’t currently do yoga, it can be difficult and intimidating to begin.

What are the barriers of entry?

For starters, yoga poses are hard. The classical form of most poses is inaccessible to most people. We are constantly bombarded by images in the media of pretty people and celebrities doing flexible and strong poses. They make the most difficult poses look easy, enticing us to try this ancient discipline with it’s many benefits. However, our initial attempts rarely match our ideas about how yoga is “supposed” to feel or look.

– See more at: http://blog.yogamaze.net/?p=1#sthash.RDgppt6H.dpuf

Yoga is very popular. It’s everywhere. It seems like everyone does it. And yet, if you don’t currently do yoga, it can be difficult and intimidating to begin.

What are the barriers of entry?

For starters, yoga poses are hard. The classical form of most poses is inaccessible to most people. We are constantly bombarded by images in the media of pretty people and celebrities doing flexible and strong poses. They make the most difficult poses look easy, enticing us to try this ancient discipline with it’s many benefits. However, our initial attempts rarely match our ideas about how yoga is “supposed” to feel or look.

– See more at: http://blog.yogamaze.net/?p=1#sthash.RDgppt6H.dpuf