I have recently gone back to regular Yoga practice and wish I had done it straight after the birth of my child in 2003. I must admit I did try but a teacher I worked with at Narrandera told me the class was 'too full' for another class member. Later when I learnt that the class was not so full, but that I was that 'older woman who had a child at 49 and I would not want to have too much to do with her,' overheard comment, I really did not feel like joining a class where my presence obviously was so unwelcome. One goes to Yoga for relaxation, health and peace unconditionally not conflict or to cause discomfort to oneself or others.
After making several fleeting attempts to start classes over the years, I started in June of this year. I am now going to the Caulfield School of Yoga and go to Michel Lewin's classes. Michel is a petit woman who trained my first Yoga teacher. She is absolutely professional, vivacious and of course very supple like all Yoga teachers. I have been lucky to find such her and believe sometimes you are led to such people for your own health if you are open to it.
Caulfield School of Yoga is at 101 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North. here is the web addy with the times of classes of all five teachers.
Unfortunately I do not have any visuals of the yoga class I go to. However I do have some visuals and information on the benefits of Yoga practice and what it can do for you. There are many paths to spiritual freedom and they all involve some sort of connection with a great power or G-D if you will. Yoga is simply one path which by a combination of breath control, disciplined asanas (positions), meditations and stretches will lead one to a path of bodily and mental tranquillity. I quote from one source 'A serious practitioner of Yoga (someone pursuing the higher spiritual and religious goals of Yoga) takes upon themselves a life of austere self-discipline common to nearly all forms of mystical and religious life. The practices that constitute this self-disciplined life are called in yoga yama and niyama. This self-discipline is the 'yoke' that one puts upon oneself for the purpose of attaining moksha. An alternative definition is that Yoga is the method of yoking, or unifying, the "lower" (egoistic) personality.'
Is this at odds with a seriously observant Jewish lifestyle? No, because I do not take on the other religious aspects of Yogic lifestyle. It is a form of exercise and the goal is good inner health. The practice of Yoga allows one to pursue an active lifestyle well into one's nineties. That is not saying that there are people in their nineties who do not practise yoga and still lead active lives.
There are some people who do offer Jewish meditation and Yoga through a distinctly Jewish lens.My body feels relaxed and supple once again. I am hoping in six months to be able to do head stands and practise hand stands again. Yoga helps sleep patterns, digestion problems that are not related to poor diet and keeps you fitter than you would normally be without heavy exercise. It has helped me lose weight because once you work on balancing the body, the mind and the soul, the rest follows. It builds mental strength.
We want to get a women's only group going at the studio on a Tuesday perhaps and we need some women who want to do gentle and relaxing yoga. Older women who are not so active any more. We have three of us and we would like another three or four people to join the group. Any takers? Let me know.