I would never be mistaken for a flexible person. Being tall (6’ 3”) I’m more often referred to as lanky or rangy, never flexible.
But age takes a toll on all of us so during the pandemic, but especially the last few months as my 45th birthday approached, I’ve incorporated more yoga into my weekly exercise routine.
I’ve pretty much stopped running. I have a bad bunion on my left big toe that requires surgery. I’m dealing with a good bit of neuropathy so I’ve switched to a long weekly bike ride for some of my cardio. I rode 60 km last weekend. I’m also doing a daily walk with the dog around the neighborhood (roughly 2 km) and sometimes I do it twice.
As anyone who’s been living/working from home the past 18 months can tell you – it gets monotonous. I traded Orange Theory YouTube workouts for random weightlifting and HIIT training but now I mix in yoga, usually every other day. I really like SarahBethYoga. Her focus on breathing, transitions between poses, and her tone really speak to me. Maybe it’s the fact that I meditate almost daily but her Yoga videos feel like a natural accompaniment to my other daily practice.
I’m not going to say I’ve become a Cirque du Soleil contortionist but I have gotten more flexible. My forward and seated folds have progressed to the point where I can easily touch my toes and grip the soles of my feet. For anyone that knew me in high school this sounds impossible but I swear it’s the truth.
I’m sleeping better and feeling fewer daily aches and pains as well. I tend to do yoga every other day and I try to find videos tailored to my specific time constraints (mostly 20 minutes) and what’s hurting me (shoulders after an upper body lift or lower body after a bike ride). I always get a good focus on glutes & core since yoga doesn’t let you forget about balance.
And my balance has gotten better too. Again I’m not the most graceful person (see all my caveats above) but I feel much more stable and grounded than I can remember feeling.
As long as I can find 20 minutes regularly I’m going to keep practicing yoga. I never regret the time or energy expended and I’m ok with knowing that I’ve made slow, steady progress.
Onward! (And namaste)