Yoga has done wonders for my posture and strength. I look at photos from years ago and am amazed by my “vulture” posture. I just didn’t have any core or back strength, I guess!
I practice Iyengar yoga at Audubon Yoga Studio, owned by Becky Lloyd. She’s an amazing, patient and precise teacher. I like that Iyengar yoga encourages the use of props and focuses on careful execution of poses. I always work hard and come out feeling refreshed.
When I’m practicing at home, I like the book pictured above, The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health – it has some great asana sequences including an essential sequence, an energizing sequence, and a restorative sequence. It also has a bunch of sequences for different needs or ailments like headaches, backaches, etc. and a bunch of health tips and information that I haven’t really used yet, but it’s nice to know that they’re there.
Iyengar yoga is great if you’re just starting with yoga, because even if you’re not very flexible, the teacher will help you get into a position that works for you with the use of blankets, blocks and bolsters. It’s interesting that when I started yoga, poses like full arm balance (Adho Mukha Vrksasana) or head balance (Sirsasana) seemed so much harder than they are now.
Yoga is of course not just about asana or poses. That’s only one limb of the eight limbs of yoga. I like that my studio (like most, probably) focuses on the other limbs of yoga as well. It’s not just about being fit or bendy and being able to turn your body into a certain position. It’s a way of being that can help you cultivate peace, kindness and non-attachment. Some days I’m better about that than others. I still have plenty of attachments!