Sue, whose lovely photo adorns our Read Me First page, has offered an extended testimonial which covers her four years of practice, beginning at age 68…
Age 68: my daughter (who has practiced yoga for many years) encouraged me to go with her to my first class at Bikram Yoga Decatur (now Still Hot Yoga). Having never done yoga or any sport, and having tried unsuccessfully various methods over the years to be healthy and control my weight, I agreed. Soon I was pouring my overweight body into snug yoga clothes, and coming to the 10:00 am class on a regular basis. I could not straighten my elbows, or bring my arms up next to my neck, but I hung in there with the support of my new yoga friends in this warm and encouraging atmosphere.
Age: 69: to celebrate my 69th birthday, the same daughter encouraged me to “do a double” –two 90 minute classes back to back, and the class cheered. By this time, along with a new way of eating, I was already losing weight and no longer had to wear shoes with “good arch supports”. And to make things even more fun, sometimes my two granddaughters would join my daughter and me for a class… 4 of us, 3 generations in a row. We also signed up for several special workshops taught by renowned guest teachers, learning more each time.
Age 71: by now I could straighten my formerly arthritic arms up beside my ears, do a decent back bend in Half-Moon and Camel, touch my nose almost to my knee in Standing-Head-to-Knee, and even see the top of my toes over my head in Standing-Bow. So proud, and feeling so much better! Every day I was thanking my daughter for encouraging me to not be afraid to try this.
Age 72: to celebrate my 72nd birthday I checked into Piedmont Hospital for a total hip replacement. Practicing yoga did not cause this; suddenly a previously undiagnosed congenital hip dysplasia changed my mobility completely. Thankfully I came through the surgery splendidly, and returned to my yoga practice after only 6 weeks. The orthopedic surgeon and physical therapists discharged me from their care almost immediately, and credited my yoga practice with my swift recovery. Upon return to my wonderful 10:00 class and friends I had to be patient. But each day I am able to do more toward building back the mobility in my new bionic hip, and mending the muscles and nerves in that thigh.
The future: I am so grateful to have increased my flexibility, balance, muscle tone and core strength! I intend to practice this yoga as long as I am able. As the saying goes; “ it is never too late, it’s never too bad, and you’re never too old or too sick to start from scratch once again”. Don’t be afraid to give it a try. Join me, won’t you?