There are very few “old-timers” in yoga….those that have maintained a practice for the majority of their life. Most who maintain a yoga practice into their dotage have either modified it greatly from the practice of their youth, or they have a body type that can handle the intensity. Most yoga today pushes the body to its proverbial “edge” or assumes that with enough sweat and practice you will eventually “get there” where enlightenment awaits you. Like many other paths, this is a trick of the ego. It keeps us searching for a pot of gold at the end of an ever-elusive rainbow.
Contemporary yoga pushes practitioners into the same extreme shapes over and over again expecting sustainable results. It won’t work. In my lifetime, I’ve seen yoga and fitness become more and more “creatively intense” in ways that cater only to those who are capable of doing it!
Do an internet search for yoga images and you’ll see mostly able-bodied “youngsters” demonstrating the perfect shape in all kinds of glorious settings. Like most images, it means nothing. Glamorous images sell everything from clothes to houses because we want to be teased into thinking that things are better than they really are. But that’s another story.
We’re attracted to it because of the imagery and the visible results it’s supposed to bring.
But not everyone will get the expected results because of the underlying constitution they were born with. This is yet another reason many are discouraged from and often injured in, extreme yoga and fitness programs. If your constitution doesn’t match the activity, you’ll soon be disenchanted with the activity and stop. There are often short and/or long term ramifications for those who persist as they push their bodies into perfect poses under the guise that “once I get it right, all will be well and good.” The only “right shape” is the one your body is ready for. Yoga alignment is when the body and mind meet harmoniously to reveal a blockage, NOT when certain body parts align the way pictures and arrows suggest! The former relies on inner feedback. The latter relies on eyes and mirrors. Outer, visual feedback is rarely helpful and almost always misleading.
To complicate matters, most teachers and trainers are able-bodied. That is, they have a constitution that allows them to excel at what they are already good at.
This is how Olympians are made. Able-bodied teachers go through a 200-hour training program, led by other able-bodied teachers where they learn about the ways to align the body almost always from their own perspective! It takes time, patience, and a deep will to begin to understand constitutions and body types different than one’s own. They and their trainers are not trained to genuinely meet the body at its deepest level exactly where it needs to be met to slowly inspire positive, healthy, sustainable change.
Some practices add heat and humidity, up to what has been labeled a “sacred” 104 degrees. But is it sustainable? It’s not for the faint of heart. Search the internet for yoga or fitness images and see what comes up. The idea of health and fitness has become synonymous with youth and beauty but health has nothing to do with those attributes. It’s become so divided that only the fit (20% at best) do the majority of the exercise. Meanwhile, 80% of our population believes that they have already failed because they can’t do what it takes to be “fit and healthy.” Can you see the dilemma? The ego will err to extremes becomes extremes separate, and yoga joins.
The problem is that we believe we can only benefit by “exercising” intensely. As a result, many burn out or make a decision early on that they’ll never succeed so they stop.
Avita Yoga is for the majority of people! It’s for those who are tired of the push.
It’s for those who need a break. It’s for those who want a better way. It’s for those who have pushed on their bodies hard in their early years (who couldn’t fathom the impacts of time and gravity) and now in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s who want a way to reclaim some of the freedoms they had in their youth.
Avita Yoga is for any body wanting a better way in body and mind.