I knew a woman once when I was working as a Clinical Yoga Therapist at a medical clinic here in Colorado. She was in her mid sixties and had severe chronic joint and muscle pain, and she also had mobility issues. She was constantly feeling pain in her feet, knees, hips, back, shoulders, and neck. She needed assistance getting up from a chair and she needed to prop herself up via chairs and desks to come from the position of sitting on the floor to standing. She wanted to get better. She was tired of the constant pain and the difficulty in movement. Walking was difficult for her. She inquired about my yoga class where I was teaching patients and students at that time in the clinic. She wanted to know if she could join the class.
At that time, the clinic offered clinical yoga therapy to patients. With a referral from the doctor, a patient could go see a clinical yoga therapist and there insurance would be billed for the therapy. Since her condition was too severe for a yoga class, she started with a yoga therapy program. After about 3 months of learning the yogic breathing techniques (which can stretch the muscles deep within the body), a whole body stretch routine which she learned and practiced at home over the course of 2 months and basic yoga poses to prepare her for a full length yoga class, she was ready to join the class.
It was such an inspiring sight to watch her grow, improve, get strong and become this person who exuded happiness, positive energy, and childlike exuberance. Within a year of starting her journey towards better health, she was practicing yoga and not just keeping up with the class, but becoming one of the top students in the class. She was able to complete an All-Levels Yoga class. She no longer had chronic joint and muscular pains burdening her everyday. She was able to walk, sit up from a chair and she was able to go from sitting on the floor to standing with no issues.
Yoga teachers...actually any teachers, learn as much from our students as our students learn from us. My clients and students have continuously inspired and taught me some of the greatest lessons in life. Watching them grow and achieve success, self-love and triumph has always been my greatest privilege as a teacher and coach. I had a similar experience three years ago when another woman in her early sixties with chronic muscular and joint pains came to see me for yoga therapy. She is now an avid yoga practitioner.
No matter your age, it's never too late to improve and achieve optimal health. It might take some time to get there but with continuous support, belief in yourself, a step-by-step yoga plan and persistence, anyone can achieve great health!