I have always been an active participant and competitor in a number of sports including: rugby, rugby league, soccer, squash, golf, cricket, athletics, swimming and touch football, especially when I was a younger man. This has turned into Yoga, bowls, swimming, walking and Tai Chi as I have progressed in years. All of I which I enjoy immensely.
When you “mature” and hit the roaring 50s you start to pay for all the sporting activity you undertook when you were a younger model!
You know how it goes…. your flexibility is not what it used to be….your knees ache when you walk up and down stairs, your back aches, the hips and shoulders don’t move like they used to, your hamstrings are so tight you struggle to do up your shoelaces…..and forget about touching your toes! Your body shape might have changed and you wish you could be as flexible as you once were.
Add to that the stress of work, life and family and our struggle to achieve a work life balance.
In the beginning I was very sceptical and avoided suggestions from my wife (who also participates in classes at Manly Yoga) that I should take up Yoga, as she insisted that I would benefit greatly from it.
In the end she won out (as she normally does) and in a weak moment I agreed to at least try a Yoga class. She bought me a 10-week class pass as a Father’s Day present to attend one of the first men’s classes. To help me through this new adventure, I recruited my best mate Steve to come with me. That was about 2+years ago and we are still attending and immensely enjoying our Yoga.
Not long after that, in another weak moment, I agreed to attend a weekend Yoga retreat at Mangrove Yoga – much to the surprise of my mates. So much so, that when the retreat was over and we were back in mobile range I received 35+ messages from my so-called mates, taking the mickey out of me. It made us laugh as they didn’t know what they were missing. (However, one of my major hecklers has now agreed to join us on a Yoga retreat with his wife.)
The sceptic in me has gone and I have found Yoga to have really benefited me in my maturing years.
The men’s class, which runs for 90 minutes every Wednesday night at 6.30, is conducted by Michael who is a great teacher / facilitator who knows we are not as young and flexible as we once were and puts together a Yoga program that has real benefits for everyone in the class. I would highly recommend the men’s class; in my view it’s 90 mins well spent and I’m sure that you won’t look back.
The benefits of Yoga to me include: rebuilding my flexibility and physical capability, improved breathing control and taught me how to relax and wind down the stress levels. As for Yoga Nidra (you should ask Michael about this)! It has also greatly assisted in improving my flexibility and core muscle strength for when I’m at the gym, swimming and playing bowls.
Not to mention the social benefits. I have made some wonderful friends from Yoga. After Yoga on Wednesday night a number of us head off to the Manly Pacific for a few drinks and laughs. (Just like going to football training all those years ago, ha!) I would have to say it is one of my favourite nights of the week and one I really miss if I can’t attend due to other commitments. These friendships have also led to numerous social events with our wives.
I could not recommend Manly Yoga highly enough. I encourage you to at least give it a go, I’m sure you will be surprised, just as I was, to feel and see the real benefits of participating in a class of guys like us. Look forward to seeing you there!