The body is our vehicle for this lifetime, and it requires responsible care. The practice of yoga provides a formula to follow so that the body remains strong, flexible and energetic throughout the years. Each asana serves a purpose (or several), helping us retain flexibility and fluidity in the spine and joints, and to maintain full range of mobility throughout the entire body. Full, deep breaths are the metronome that sets the pace of movement. By pairing movement with breath, the focus is drawn inward. The mind and body are unified, spirit is drawn into the picture and the three become linked.
There are many reasons why yoga has gained widespread popularity. Its myriad physical, mental and spiritual benefits are palpable. The yogic body of knowledge has grown over time through a long lineage of teachers, which means the teachings have a tremendous historical foundation. And it is possible to practice yoga at any age. As a favorite teacher says, “The older you get, the more you’re gonna need it”.
Vanda Scaravelli, a prominent yoga teacher who learned from both B.K.S. Iyengar and Desikachar, wrote her book, Awakening The Spine, when she was 83 years old. She presents yoga in a very organic way, with beautiful photographs. However, some of the most inspirational images show what was still possible for her when she was quite old.
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