by guest blogger Holly Walck Kostura, BSN and certified Iyengar Yoga teacher
To quote Webster’s:
“Aging (adj): (of a thing) reaching the end of useful life; growing old or older, especially visibly and obviously so; obsolescent
Obsolescent (adj): becoming obsolete
Obsolete (adj): no longer produced or used; out-of-date.”
When I was 22 years old, a friend and I went into a local bookstore and saw a display of exercise videos, including one titled, Yoga for Beginners. The middle-aged woman demonstrating the pose on the cover looked strong, stable, flexible, and joyful, and I remember knowing that the way she looked WAS yoga and that if I practiced it I would feel that way in my own skin.
So I bought the video and started practicing every single day; that was 7,120 days (more than 19 years) ago, and I feel younger now than I did on the day I started practicing.
Back then, I was plagued with migraines, unexplained fevers, joint pain, and digestive problems and felt generally anxious and unhappy. Doctors told me I had acid reflux, possible rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, and—to top it off—chronic sinusitis.
Within a year of committing to a consistent practice, those pains had disappeared, the way I looked at the world around me shifted, and the sands of time began to slow down as they made their way though the hourglass of my life. The way the woman on that video cover looked was now how I felt, and it was only up from there once I started to delve deeper into the limitless ocean of yoga and its philosophy.
Now I am a middle-aged woman who is devoted to yoga practice and teaches students of all ages and abilities how they can use yoga to improve the quality of their lives. It’s because of yoga that I anticipate practicing, teaching, and aging purposefully and usefully as I make the repeated journey around the sun.
May all beings everywhere experience peace and well-being.
An Antiaging Yoga Sequence
Repair and prepare with Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana), variation.
Build strength, stability, and stamina with Warrior Pose I (Virabhadrasana I) and Warrior Pose III (Virabhadrasana III).
Open and aerate with chair Upward-Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose (Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana).
Build bone and muscle with Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
Balance and rejuvenate the body/mind with inversions, Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) and Supported Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana) (using a chair).
Replenish with relaxation in Corpse Pose (Savasana).
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.