We have just arrived in El Salvador, in a small beach town on the Pacific Coast called Playa El Tunco. We will be here at Balance Yoga Retreat for two weeks. Although this place does group retreats, we are staying in one of their beautiful units and just doing individual yoga. Hoping to expand my knowledge of yoga as part of My Fab Fifties Life during this relaxing two weeks.
A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific body postures, is widely practiced today for health and relaxation around the world.
I am really enjoying it so far. Yoga has become such an important part of nearly every day of My Fab Fifties Life. I do my version of yoga, a pieced together practice from all the different classes I have taken over the years, as well as many poses I learned from my past physical therapy sessions. I hope to expand my yoga knowledge during our time here at Balance. There are many different kinds of yoga, of which I am most familiar with four.
- Hatha Yoga (easiest and my favorite)
The term is derived from the Sanskrit ha, meaning “sun,” and tha, meaning “moon.” Practitioners of Hatha yoga use physical alignment and breathing control to achieve an equilibrium between the active body and its universe. The resulting harmony manifests itself as physical strength, physiological health and emotional well-being.
As a fabulous fifties travel diva I have grown to love my morning yoga. It has improved my agility, cured many of my aches and pains, lengthened my muscles and spine and given me both strength and a way to quiet my mind.
2. Vinyasa Yoga (my second favorite)
A type of yoga that links movement and breath to attain balance in the mind and body. From the Sanskrit “to place in a special way,” vinyasa aligns a deliberate sequence of poses with the breath to achieve a continuous flow. Inhalation is usually connected to upward, open movements, while exhalation is often tied to downward movements or twists.
I feel better. Period. That is the most important reason. Yoga has made it possible for me to start a running program again, after almost two years of not being able to run due to sciatic pain. Yoga helps my digestion. It expands my lung capacity and strengthens my core. It gives me strength and stability. When I’m practicing regularly I (almost) never have heart palpitations anymore. It clears my mind and makes me present and appreciative of my one fabulous life.
And usually it’s free.
3. Iyengar Yoga (a form of Hatha and my third favorite)
Iyenga often makes use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing asanas (postures). The props enable students to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain, and making the postures accessible to both young and old.
There are still people out there who think yoga is a weird meditative Indian guru activity for hippies. Nothing could be farther from the truth. My Fab Fifties Life has benefited tremendously from practicing yoga nearly everyday. I cannot do every pose. Many poses I will never be able to do. Perhaps if I had started earlier in my life. But I am very happy with how I have improved and I can stretch farther and do more difficult poses every day. And I feel good.
I’ve learned to breathe deeper, stand taller and be present. And most of all, I’ve grown to love my one and only body and treat it kindly – something I never did during most of my life.
4. Bikram Yoga (not my favorite)
Also a form of Hatha but Bikram is done in a hot room and the same 26 poses are done every time. No variation. So you always know what is coming next and you learn to perfect these poses.
You don’t need to be young, thin or even fit to start a yoga practice. You can do it alone or in a group and know that you are not being judged. You can use yoga for stress relief, digestion issues, metabolism boost, respiratory and circulatory health and mental clarity. To each his own. For me, and usually my husband who practices with me, it is the best way to start or end my day.
Any day around the world. But for the next two weeks, here at Balance
Yoga everyday. How fabulous.
Note – thanks to Wikipedia, yogapedia.com and dailyburn.com for information used in this blog. Click on any of these links to see more styled and variations of yoga other than the four I have listed here.
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