For more information, contact:
Carol Verner, LMBT, RYT
MOVING INTO WHOLENESS
Telephone: (919) 933-2330
Carol Verner owns Moving Into Wholeness in Chapel Hill, NC, a center for healing through embodied awareness. She is an elder with 40 years’ experience teaching yoga and is a Registered Yoga Teacher certified to teach the Fishman Method. She is a Certified Somatic Coach, Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (NC # 1301), and Registered Craniosacral Therapist.
Contact Carol to learn if in-person or on-line appointments and classes are right for you. Private yoga classes on Zoom or in person by appointment. Zoom classes: TriYoga Basics, Tuesdays 11:00 AM, OsteoYoga, Tuesdays 6:00 PM & Wednesdays 11:00 AM. In Person classes: TriYoga Level 1/2 Fridays 9:00 AM
By Carol Verner, LMBT, RYT
Younger and older, yoga can meet you where you are, and take you as far as you’re able to go.
If you are over 60, and especially if you find high-impact exercise hard on your joints, how can you be both active and safe? Yoga with an experienced teacher can be an open door to optimizing your health. Yoga includes full-body movement, yet is low-impact. Yoga is so adaptable that it can be practiced by most people. Use the following five key recommendations to begin or enhance your own safe and effective practice.
Know Your Own Condition
Work closely with your health providers to know what conditions are present for you before beginning any new exercise activities, including yoga. How are your joints? Do you have pain or limits to range of motion? Have you been diagnosed with arthritis or osteoporosis? Is your spine mobile or stiff? Have you had an X-Ray of your spine in recent years to identify structural changes? How is your balance? When we are taking best care of our aging bodies, there are many factors to consider, and to share with our yoga teachers. As a health care professional and a yoga teacher, I have students complete a health history. With this information, I am best able to support the safety of each student.
Yoga for Osteoporosis,
Yoga for Arthritis and TriYoga Flow
I am certified to teach three approaches to yoga that complement each other beautifully.
Yoga for Osteoporosis was developed by Loren Fishman, MD. Dr. Fishman is the medical director of Manhattan Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in NYC. His research consistently demonstrates that his method reverses bone loss when done correctly.
Yoga for Arthritis informs much of my teaching. Also from Dr. Fishman, this approach addresses how to optimize healthy function in joints affected by arthritis. From my years of teaching A&P and practicing therapeutic bodywork, I know that much of the pain we experience in arthritic joints comes from muscles in deep spasm around the joints. Yoga is ideal to both strengthen and open those muscles, which reduces pain, increases function, and gets us moving again.
TriYoga was developed by Kali Ray, and offers developmental levels of practice. Choose your level, according to your need or preference. TriYoga’s flowing style creates a healthy balance of mobility in the joints and stability throughout the body. It is exceptionally beneficial for the spine with its fluid, sequential movement along the length of the spine. TriYoga’s most appealing quality for me and for my students is how good it feels to be in the Flow. Join us!
Work with an Experienced Yoga Teacher
Be a good consumer. Find a teacher with training and experience who understands how to modify your active yoga practice to keep you safe. Share information about your current conditions, and ask if this teacher knows how to shape a practice that is right for you. If you are new to yoga, find out if this teacher offers a beginner’s class. If you are out of shape, find out how this teacher helps you start where you are safely, and takes you at your pace into your own healthy changes. Not able to get on a mat on the floor? Ask if this teacher offers Chair Yoga, a great way to get moving in your current condition.
Maintain a Dedicated Practice
A dedicated yoga practice changes you, strengthens you, opens you. Healthy changes naturally come gradually, slowly. Inactivity comes at a greater cost to us when we are older. When we are young, hormonal support helps us grow stronger and this change lasts longer. These are the “Give a little, get a lot” years. In middle years, we enter the “What you give is what you get” stage. In our senior years, the truth is, “Use it or lose it.” With sufficient challenge, we can build strength at any age, but when we are older, we lose it much faster without that challenge.
Also, consider this: Why would you commit to working on your health? When you come to know what really matters to you, who really matters to you, you engage the strength of your heart. This is your most reliable motivation for a dedicated practice.
Always Invite, Never Demand
Pain often signals imminent tissue injury. Thus, we practice with a clear intention to be fully present, attentive to sensations that tell us if we are going too far. We learn to read sensations that may be strong, but do not actually hurt. When we approach our limit fully present, when we avoi going past it, this leads us to healthy changes. What happens when we demand, when our behavior is shaped by expectations? We risk injury. For this reason, we avoid going too far in a pose. On the other hand, if we avoid our own threshold of capacity by being inactive, we lose out there, too. Our health suffers from sedentary lifestyles. What is just right, right now?
Take Time for Deep Relaxation and Self Study
Yoga gets us active. Yoga also gives us the experience of relaxation, the experience of a calm mind. This is essential medicine for each of us, a reset from stress and worries that bear down on us. When the body becomes still, breath is calm, and mind settles, we take deep rest. Deep rest that restores and replenishes us is one of the most valuable gifts of a dedicated yoga practice. We come to know our whole self. Yoga is a science of body, mind, heart, and being. Thoreau said, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately.” Yoga takes us into the whole self that we are, gives us tools and practices to live deliberately. Yoga opens us beyond human doing into human being, the spacious presence that is our essential self. This is essential medicine for our global community. May yoga meet you where you are, and take you into increased strength, ease, peace, joy, and contribution.