Judging from my own experience I would have to say the answer is yes to that question. Not long ago I started doing yoga and wrote about it for the blog. It has probably been 10 years since I have done any yoga seriously; I didn’t have any grandiose expectations. I am a senior citizen now, so my yoga experiences from my 30s and 40s might have little bearing on my present aging body. Also, I started with long range goals. I wanted to build up my strength and flexibility while keeping my ligaments and joints fresh through the various stretches and deep breathing.
For the past three days I have done about an hour of yoga and relaxation every evening. In addition to that I do several sun salutations when I get up in the morning. The sun salutation is more functional than anything yogic. As you can see from the illustration, it includes a series of full body stretches. I think it is a way to get my body jump started after a night of sleep. I don’t follow it with a relaxation period, either.
As far as the yoga I am practicing goes, I mentioned in the previous blog item that I had done yoga seriously for some years, so I know a number of postures. At least I did know them. This time around, I didn’t feel comfortable in trying to dredge them up out of my memory, so I used a Peggy Cappy yoga video for two of my sessions and an old Priscilla Patrick videotape for the third. These are two solid practicioners of yoga who understand what they are doing and teach it well. The yoga positions I did under their direction were very much classic ones, nothing fancy or trendy. I emphasized my back and legs because of my bike riding and I think that really paid dividends.
So, is it reasonable to expect benefits after only three evenings of doing yoga? I don’t know if it is reasonable, but I am definitely feeling better. Whether it is coincidental or not, I have gotten three really good 25 mile bike rides in each of the days. I had good energy and leg strength in each instance.
I felt exhilarated after coming out of the relaxation following my first session Saturday evening. It was the same reaction I had over 30 years ago when I did yoga for the first time. Something about the stretching gives me this feeling of ‘connectedness’ throughout my body. I felt like every part of me was working well.
The next day I woke up in a wonderful energetic mood that stayed with me through the day.
Reaching the various positions has been challenging to me, but very gratifying. I know I am not a kid and don’t have the flexibility of one, but I feel that I am working my body in the best possible way and only good can come of it.
The last benefit I realized is that I lost a pound in the three days of yoga. Of course, I didn’t burn up that many extra calories, but I did take a good hour out of my evening when I would normally have been snacking.
So, I consider my venture into the world of yoga to be a complete success at this point.