My yoga journey began around the year 2000. I remember because the teacher, who taught from her home studio, would let us bring our toddlers to play in an adjacent playroom, and my youngest was not yet in preschool that first year. By the time the World Trade Towers came down in '01 I was a dedicated yogi, taking several classes each week. That disaster brought me, as it did many others, to a place of fear and a desire to be ready for "anything". I had a renewed purpose for my yoga, which was to build and maintain enough physical and mental strength so I could carry my kids to safety if the need arose. (Cue "Climb Every Mountain" with the Captain carrying his youngest on his shoulders across the alps...)
By continuing my yoga practice and the mindfulness that comes with it, those fearful feelings did not linger over-long; but I still carry the memory and, although I haven't put it into words, before, I believe that my purpose for being a yoga teacher and holistic healing practitioner derives from that experience.
I have taught yoga to all ages, from kindergarten Daisy Troops to my 80 years young mom. The bulk of my clients, though, are women in their 50's and 60's, a point where the body can take a turn for the worse if one is not paying attention. It is these marvelous people that inspire me with their dedication and conviction: I will not listen to the myth of middle age and the belief that the aches, pains, pot bellies, and other discomforts are inevitable. I will give myself what I have spent my adulthood giving to my children and community - time to explore, grow, move, and think. I will continue to get up when I fall down, to learn new things, and to strengthen my body to a point that may well exceed the fitness of my younger days! I am woman, hear me roar! Well, maybe no roaring. A Cheshire grin, perhaps.
For all those who think they are past the point of no return, I say, dig deep, step up, and take care of yourself. There are few who cannot improve their fitness at any age or from any starting point. These historic times call for stamina, strength, and the ability to think clearly. Yoga and the holistic healing arts are a gentle and marvelously effective way to stand strong and live with ease and joy. At every age.