You had me at “Om” - An introduction to yoga

Photo credit Gabriella Bank

Photo credit Gabriella Bank

It all started with a persistent invitation from my friend. “Irene, you have got to try yoga!” What? Yoga? Wasn’t yoga just for young, fit people bending, twisting and standing on their heads chanting Om? Was she trying to kill me? Had she taken life insurance out on me?
Being in my sixties, it was probably the last form of exercise I was willing to try. I resisted for a few months but in a weak moment agreed to go with her to a vinyasa yoga class.  
I was smitten by my first downward dog! The combination of building strength and stretching followed by savasana (resting pose) was pure bliss. I left my first class feeling balanced, lighter and ready for more.

Photo credit Gabriella Bank

Photo credit Gabriella Bank

Many think yoga is for the young and nimble but this perception is fading fast as more discover its benefits. Luckily you can find many kinds of yoga taught in Mississauga. Hot yoga, vinyasa, hatha and restorative are the most common. There are also classes geared toward children, pregnant mothers-to-be and once the baby is born, yoga with mom and babies.
Are you an animal lover? Try goat yoga. Head out to the country where farms are offering yoga with pygmie goats. They will playfully prance around you as you try to concentrate on your poses. Amazing fun!

Goat yoga photo credit cjkphotography

Goat yoga photo credit cjkphotography

All ages are discovering both the physical and mental health benefits of yoga. It can help lower back pain, increase flexibility and improve balance. However, just as powerful are the emotional benefits. In our high paced culture, we are bombarded with assaults to our emotional balance resulting in anxiety disorders, depression and insomnia. Restorative yoga is especially helpful in bringing a sense of calm and well-being. 

Have I convinced you to give yoga a try?
It is easier than ever to start and experience how life changing it can be. There are many exceptional studios in the Mississauga area with some offering a 30 day unlimited pass for about $40 or a free trial class pass. Try the different styles and choose what appeals to you the most.
I asked one young 12 year old boy what he liked about yoga and he surprisingly said “Ii’s fun!”

Maybe you will discover that it can be both challenging and fun also.
Hope to see you on the mat.
Namaste
(the light in me honors the light in you)

Irene Vrbensky, yoga enthusiast and mala maker maven.
To learn more about here, please visit www.mysticmala.ca