Funny how a tweet makes you think and draw some thoughts together from the previous few months. I saw one from a lady this morning who said: "Just attempted beginner Yoga.... uh, what's the level before that one - foetal yoga? As I think I need that one!"
Even beginner Yoga can be daunting, turn up to the same room as all these flexible, nimble people and then try to do the Sun Salutation and fail miserably.... the Sun Salutation isn't that easy though, and leaves you a bit out of breathe, and heaven only knows how unflattering you look doing it. Maybe I am talking from experience!
Just before Christmas I thought I'd get back into Yoga and picked out a beginner one on You Tube then I realised I could barely manage it. Where had my flexibility gone? I'm a Shiatsu Practitioner and just thought I was still flexible; but this showed up that I clearly wasn't.
Earlier this year I had a lovely older lady who started some Yoga but also came for Shiatsu to help her muscles loosen up, so that she could then do the Yoga and help her back, the two working in unison saw her become flexible and energised again.
Yoga and Shiatsu are so closely linked, Shiatsu warm up exercises, the Makka-ho's are Yoga positions; just specific ones that energise the Chinese Meridians. In Shiatsu we talk about the breathe a lot and include it in the treatment; as it is a principle source of Chi for the body. In Yoga there are specific exercises for the breathe - Pranayama's.
When we train in Shiatsu, we pair up and support each other in our stretches, allowing us to stretch further and for longer, which is deeply relaxing and satisfying. I've now come across Yin Yoga which seeems to cover the same concept, of slow stretches that allow the fascia of the body to release, as well as the muscles to lengthen gently - a very energising action from a very simple and quiet method.
So, if you are thinking about taking the plunge into Yoga, but don't know if you can do it, come to me, together we'll increase your capability for stretching and breathing, find your current flexibility out and aim to work on extending that, and getting you Yoga ready; so you can embrace the Sun Salutation with confidence!