Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I like it!

Sport Clip Art Image

I discovered yoga properly last summer 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 it and still has.  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 9 months later, although I am still pretty stiff compared to others in my class, 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 16lbs in 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.

People tell me I am a little different since I became a newbie Yogini.  My husband is impressed with my sticking at something and with my weight loss.  My mother says I don't lose my patience as easily and my three-year-old son is thrilled that I can actually bend down to him again.

I hope to share here some of my journey as a forty something first time Yogini, along with interesting snippets of news, videos, articles and discoveries I make along the way!


Claire xx


  1. What a wonderful post and blog Claire. I look forward to being along on this journey with you as a new yogini at 57 .:) I too find I am much more mindful of what I eat and notice how my body is reshaping itself. Namaste

  2. Congrats, Claire, on your new hobby and new blog. Very interesting! :)

  3. Hi Claire, love your new site. It's wonderfully put together and very welcoming. I'm into kickboxing classes at the gym, but once a week, I stay after for a yoga class. I crack up at myself because I have no balance whatsoever, but it feels great and so peaceful. A stark difference from Kickboxing. I'm following in hopes that you will make me go more -- it's definitely more my speed nowadays.

  4. Thanks Marina. That's one of the reasons I love yoga. It makes me feel connected to the calm and peaceful part of me. There's no jumping about involved but physically I still burn calories. It also makes me think more about how hard my body has to work to digest bad choices in my diet. It gives more awareness all round.