by guest blogger Holly Walck Kostura, BSN and certified Iyengar Yoga teacher
“Healthy plants and trees yield abundant flowers and fruits. Similarly, from a healthy person, smiles and happiness shine forth like the rays of the sun.”—Sri B.K.S. Iyengar, Yoga Master
After reading this quote from my Guru, B.K.S. Iyengar, I had the following radical thought: we are naturally happy and healthy and stress shields us from that organic state. In order to live an active life we need a sound mind and a healthy body. As we age our lives become more complex and require fit bodies and fine-tuned minds. Just when we need it most, the aging process that has been occurring since the day we were born begins to manifest on the surface of our embodiment.
For me, the signs of aging arrived in the form of achy knees and a reduced memory. The practice of yoga showed me how to physically care for my knees and all my other joints in a way that will allow them to age gracefully as they support me during the second half of my life. On a more subtle level yoga taught me that if I spend time weeding the garden of my body-mind (pulling out unhealthy habits and replenishing the soil with nutrients) the plants that grow in it will be strong and healthy.
The two practices that follow will both lengthen and contract the muscles that straighten and bend the knee joint. In the first video, the poses all have a subtle twist to them while the poses in the second video take twisting to the next level.
Anti-Aging Yoga: Healthy Knees, with a Twist!
Start your practice by sitting quietly and focusing on your breath for a few minutes, watching the effect that both the inhalation and exhalation have on the body-mind.
Then, begin with Surya Namaskar for beginners
or intermediate/advanced students
Now practice postures that extend the knees
and then postures that both bend and straighten the knees while in a seated position
Round out your practice with a supported chest opener, such as Reclining Bound Angel Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) and a variation of Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana), like this one before Corpse Pose (Savasana).
May all beings be happy.
May all be free from illness.
May all see and experience that which is auspicious.
May no one suffer.
Holly Walck Kostura uses the healing practices of Ayurveda and Iyengar Yoga to secure her to the core of her being. Combining her bachelor’s degree in nursing with her certification in Iyengar Yoga gives her the ability to approach her students from a place of wholeness and infuse her yoga classes with a unique flavor. Find her online at yogawithholly.com.