Moving dynamically is what life should be all about. I have recently begun taking yoga classes on a regular basis after a long hiatus due primarily to growing children. Both of my kids are now in school full time and I have more time to devote to myself.
The main takeaway so far is that twenty or thirty minutes on the mat at home doesn’t really compare to one and a half hour classes. I am rounding back into game shape and feel my stamina and endurance returning. The cool thing is that my practice is so much deeper and my core so much stronger than the last time that I took class so often.
Yoga is my best friend in many ways. The ritual of putting out the mat and waiting for class to begin (in the farthest corner of course) tops most feelings I have in life. I have written before about doing yoga when I was seven years old or thereabouts, and classes remain a return to youth and the innocence and exuberance that it recalls.
But if there is any bone to pick with the yoga practice it is that it can be too linear, too repetitive in many ways. Personally, I have basically taught the same class for fifteen years—with themes and variations of course—covering similar cherished ground.
Yoga can lack the dynamic movement that is necessary for developing a truly sound body. This dynamic movement is evidenced in simple things like barefoot walking where the feet, and in turn the whole body, must adapt to terrain in a way that shoes won’t ever allow for.
It is why I like all types of exercise from running to rollerblading to kickboxing to anything and everything that encourages moving dynamically. While I love yoga, I love the idea of ageing gracefully. I’m not saying that yoga alone won’t allow one to age well because I think it really could or will, but the more the merrier.
On that note I wanted to share the video above which I shot a couple of years ago and just came across. I offer a variation of this in my yoga classes sometimes. You need about a foot of space on either side of everyone’s mat to do this. Doing this exercise requires a great deal of shoulder stability.
- Come into an L-shaped handstand
- Walk off your mat to the right until your hands are fully on the floor.
- Walk back onto the mat and off to the left side.
- Walk back onto the mat and come down.
If you want to make this fun work around corners like I do in the video. This requires some pivoting around stationary hands, which is an extra bit of brain work.