By Martha Piersma, E-RYT200, YogaMotion RYS200 Liaison and Co-teacher
I remember when the AARP invitation came in the mail for me. I thought they had the wrong address and name. I was feeling great! I wasn’t getting old! When I crossed the street I was skipping and holding myself upright.
The definition of elderly is “past one’s prime”. I was just reaching my prime. My life is full, joyful and pain free. What have I done to embrace this process of aging? Like so many of you my life has had many pitfalls. I’ve watched my mom succumb to Parkinson’s Disease and two of my siblings fall to cancer in their early 50’s. There were plenty of reasons for me to just give up. But I kept going and like so many of you I had soon realized that “yoga saved my life”.
I’m going to ask you to surrender the common images and beliefs of aging and open yourself up to the reality of aging gracefully. Stepping into Wisdom: The Art and Science of Gentle Yoga for Health and Longevity is coming to Bozeman next week and I will be co-teaching these workshops with Nancy Ruby. This series is open to yoga teachers and practitioners alike and I invite you to join us. Informative and engaging, you will leave feeling hopeful and appreciative of the aging process. You will stock your toolbox full of goodies.
According to the AARP in 2012, less than 20% of the U.S. population was over 60 years old. But by 2050, people over age 60 are expected to account for 25-29% of the U.S. population. We are living longer but are we living fully? If you are a yoga teacher this is great news! This can be a huge source of joy for you. I have been the witness to students getting stronger and more joyful after teaching gentle yoga for 8 years. I frequently shed a tear or two after a student tells me “I can be on the floor playing with my grandchildren!”
Some of the key pieces in remaining active and engaged in life are strength, flexibility, balance and equanimity and if we aren’t actively working on these the probability of not enjoying your life is much greater. Here is a rundown on workshops available to you beginning Thursday November 9 and continuing through November 12.
Thursday 8:00 – 12:00
Introduction – What is Aging?, What is Healthy Aging? and How Yoga supports Strength
Practice: Gentle Yoga for Strength
Thursday 1:00 – 5:00
The importance of Flexibility
Practice: Gentle Yoga for Flexibility
Friday 8:00 – 12:00
How Yoga Helps Balance
Practice: Gentle Yoga for Balance
Friday 1:00 – 5:00
Aging and Agility
Practice: Gentle Yoga for Agility
Saturday 8:00 – 12:00
How aging affects heart and brain health
Practice: Gentle Yoga for your Heart and Brain
Saturday 1:00 – 5:00
Managing Stress with Yoga, Understanding the Relaxation Response, Yoga and Pain Management
Practice: Gentle Yoga for Equanimity
Sunday 8:00 – 1:00 For Teachers only
Launching Gentle Yoga for Health and Longevity
Designing, Promoting, and Teaching your 6 – 8 week Specialty Course.
We have room for a few more in each of these classes and I invite you on this journey of self-discovery and aha moments. I will be offering various meditations to open you up to the joy of living. There will be lecture time and time for breathing and postures. It’s essentially a retreat – for YOU!
Martha has been blessed with the opportunity to share gentle yoga with her students in the Bitterroot Valley at Red Bird Yoga and in Anchorage, AK. She also steps into the role of “clean-up gal” for her husband Brad’s contracting business.