Soft Yoga is a combination of postures or “asanas” that involve simple yet whole body movements, breathing, and relaxation techniques that harmonize your body and mind. For those that may have injuries, health problems, beginners, or are stiff, this is a very soft and mild way to recover or gain physical health. Soft Yoga will calm the mind, increase your flexibility, equilibrium, strength, and improve your ability to concentrate. It also serves for those that may be elderly or out of shape.
I started a Soft Yoga Class about a year and a half ago. My reasons were that although I have exercised in one form or another almost all of my life I had not exercised in over a year due to moving and being lazy about finding a new place or class to exercise with. I was very stiff, tired, and out of shape and I knew it was time to take action. I was also was suffering from neck problems which I will elaborate on later, and had very contracted and painful muscles in my shoulder areas.
One of the more serious problems of being out of shape is that I am naturally very stiff or inflexible. This may be due in part to mild scoliosis or genetics, or both. I find it surprising that although I have exercised most of my life I have never been flexible. I have never even been able to touch my toes. Perhaps I would have to take Yoga daily to be able to do that but unfortunately, time does not allow me to do so but when I do exercise and stretch regularly my flexibility does improve and this greatly effects my sense of well-being.
A Postural Realignment Specialist and Traumatology Specialist informed me that Yoga, swimming, and or Pilates were the only forms of exercise I should think about doing until my neck gets better. My neck had lost its natural curve from using my laptop at the kitchen table for too long, looking down, instead of straight ahead at the monitor. This is why I took the Soft Yoga Class. My neck has since improved and continues to do so due to the Postural Realignment sessions and Soft Yoga Classes. I fell in love with the class and have been doing it ever since. Postural Realignment as well but that is another Blog post! I found the combination both to be very beneficial and enjoyable on various levels.
On a more personal note, I am not one who enjoys going to exercise classes. I used to opt to exercise on my own at the gym, but after participating, I completely changed my mind. The soft hypnotic music, the low lighting, the scent of the lavender oil the instructor puts on all of our foreheads during the end of class meditation, created such a pleasant ambiance and the mental and physical benefits I experienced were spectacular.
I tend to be a very anxious and private person, and these classes helped me to get used to being in a “class” with others, people I do not know, something that has not always been easy for me. It also helped to relax my anxiety due to the physical exertion (but not too exerting that I dread going or push myself too hard), the stretching, and the meditation at the end. Physically, I am more flexible (for me), and my contracted muscles are relaxing. My posture is much better, and I find that my movements in general are more fluid as well as my body being much more toned.
The instructors modify postures for those that find it difficult to execute a certain asana, which makes the classes very personalized. Sometimes they even play instruments at the end, during the meditation part of the class, and always there is beautiful recorded music played throughout the hour. There are blankets provided to cover up with or use as pillows during the end of class meditation as well as lavender scented eye pillows.
I hope you found my Soft Yoga story interesting and informative and I hope that I have helped to motivate any of you who have not tried this sort of Yoga class to seek one out and try it. I have a feeling you will enjoy it as much as I do.