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September is yoga awareness month, and I am aware of yoga!

September 24, 2012  |  By Heidi Romans Nelson, CEO Duffy Health Center

For a few years now, I have toyed with the idea of taking up yoga. We folks over 50 years of age sometimes worry about flexibility, strength and balance as we grow older. My New Year's resolution for 2012 was to walk-in to the yoga studio nearest my home, and try it just once. That was in January, and I've kept my resolution with a weekly class ever since!

If you haven't tried a class, here's the routine. Being quiet and centered and mindful of your breathing puts you in the right mood for class. Then you start with some gentle warm-ups, get your heart pumping with sun salutes, contort into yoga poses like cat, cow, pigeon and tree, then comes the cool down. If you are lucky, you end class with a few chanting ooommmms; it helps you to connect to the others in your class, and to the earth.

There are spiritual effects that are important to many people, but for me, the health effects have been profound. The stress that I used to hold in my neck and shoulder (left side only) is now gone. Completely. Loosening my joints and strengthening my arms and shoulders reverses the effects of long periods at the computer.

If you have been thinking about it, go! Don't worry about your clothes, just wear something loose fitting and relax. No one will make fun of you; yoga people are the greatest folks around!

There are classes on the Cape available to people without funds. We hope to offer yoga instruction to our Duffy clients. All we need is a modest gift to pay a stipend to a teacher and buy some inexpensive mats, and identify a place to stretch out.

Namaste. Or in other words, the good in me sees and acknowledges the good in you.