Living Proof of Benefits Of Yoga!

by Claire Hegarty B

I am living proof of Benefits of Yoga! I discovered yoga properly in the Summer of 2010 and, after my very first class my first thought was 'I like it!' I had dabbled with yoga many moons before but it just didn't have the same impact on me. The teacher had a lot to do with it and the old saying that 'when the student is ready, the teacher will appear' really rang true here.

I had decided that since I was in my forties, with a three-year-old son to run after, and newly acquired back problems that I needed to do something. I knew that the stretching would help my back and the breathing would help my stress. I also knew that yoga could help with the spiritual questions that inevitably become stronger in midlife. However, I was worried about finding the right class. Then, in a moment of synchronicity, my friend mentioned to me a beginners hatha yoga class that she attended whenever she could. I went along with her and was immediately hooked!

As I mentioned before, the teacher had a lot to do with getting my interest. She is an inspirational woman in her seventies who simply oozes with compassion and serenity. I could not believe and still cannot, that she could possibly be in her seventies, as she looks ten years younger than that. Her mother is still alive and is ninety-nine! She told me that she only started yoga when she was forty-three and when I asked if her body had ever been as inflexible as mine, she said it had been worse! That statement certainly gave me hope, since there I was beginning yoga at the age of forty-four.

Believe it or not, I had such bad sciatica that I did my first few classes on a chair. Students thirty years older than me were not in that position and there was even an eighty one year old man in the class. But I didn't feel embarrassed; such was the atmosphere there. The teacher showed me some remedial yoga exercises that would help with my pain. We also learned some breathing and meditative techniques to help with any anxiety arising from that pain.

Now two years later, much of my back pain has simply gone. It twinges every now and then but nothing like the excruciating regular bouts I had before, when I couldn't even put my foot to the ground without crying.

I have also lost around 14 lbs weight just practicing a little yoga every other day and incorporating poses into everyday life. I find that because yoga also works on the internal organs and the teacher explains about the anatomy and physiology of the body and how the Asanas (postures/poses) work that I am less inclined to binge on junk foods. I still do that now and again but it tends to be on healthier foods. Where I would have scoffed whole packets of biscuits before, I now might have a tray of flavoured frozen ice cubes! A lot less calories and hydration into the bargain. The yoga poses have made me think more about the work my body has to do internally to digest the types of food that I consume.

I know that I am different since I became a newbie Yogini. My husband is impressed with my sticking at something at last. My mother says I don't lose my patience as easily and my low moods have improved and my five year old son is thrilled that I can actually bend down to him again.

I share my journey as a forty something first time Yogi on my blog, along with interesting snippets of news, videos, articles and discoveries I make along the way!

Claire Hegarty B

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