May 12, 2013

The Illustrated Yoga Mala: A Handy Quick Reference Guide (for People Over 50).

Some people think that yoga is only for certain people and is only a bunch of fancy movements.

“When actually anyone can practice because yoga is much more than poses (asanas).
But if the asanas appeal to you, there are many that are beneficial and potentially possible for elders.
You are never too old to start.”

~ Elise Espat

Here is a quick and easy visual guide of Guruji’s yoga asana practice for seniors from Yoga Mala.

In the Yoga Mala (p.27), Guruji says:

“For people over fifty, it is enough to practice some of the easier and more useful asanas, as well as some of the pranayamas.

Those who have been practicing for many years, however, can do any asana or pranayama with out a problem. 

Older people who want to start yoga, however, will find practicing the following ten asanas sufficient: first the surya Namaskara (A & B); then Paschimattanasana; Sarvangasana; Halasana; Karnapidasana; Urdhva Padmasana; Pindasana; Matsyasana; Uttana Padasana; and shirshasana.

It is preferable to do these in concert with the vinyasa [breathing and movement system], but if this is not possible, then practicing while focusing on rechaka (exhalation) and puraka (inhalation) will suffice.

Shirshasana should be practiced for at least ten minutes, and the rest, for at least ten rechaka and puraka while in the state of the asana. 

By practicing in the is way, the body and sense organs will become firm, the mind purified, longevity will be increased and the body will be filled with fresh energy…”



Credits, References, Notes:

Please consult your teacher before attempting any asanas on your own!

The Yoga Comics

Awesome Editor: Jessica Walden and Elise Espat (Albuquerque Ashtanga Yoga Shala)
Cartoon guy: Boonchu Tanti,  Ashtanga Illustrations by Boonchu



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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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May 14, 2013 8:01am

This is charming, but as a 60+ Yoga teacher, I would add that you can have a successful practice without these inversions. If you have NO neck injuries or weaknesses and NO hypertension, then go for it – with proper instruction. Otherwise, Legs Up the Wall is a great alternative that imparts many of the benefits of these more physically challenging inversions and none of the contraindications. Enjoy! I have students who are in their 80s.

shareen woodford May 13, 2013 6:25pm

Excellent illustration and instruction, as always! 🙂

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Yoga Comics

Editor: Jessica Walden began a daily yoga practice in 1994 and, over the last 12 years, has made several trips to Mysore, India, to study with Guruji, Sharath, and Saraswati. She is married to Andrew Hillam and a happy mother of two boys and one chihuahua.

Editor: Elise Espat first practiced Ashtanga Yoga with Guruji when she was living in NYC and has since made several trips to Mysore, India to practice with her teachers Guruji, Sharath, and Saraswathi Jois. A couple of years ago Elise and her husband moved to New Mexico where they enjoy spending time in nature with their little dog named Maple. Most mornings (except Saturdays and moon days) you’ll find Elise teaching at the Albuquerque Ashtanga Yoga Shala. She also keeps the blog www.aylibrary.blogspot.com

Cartoonist: Boonchu Tanti, an engineer who loves drawing cartoons, began a daily yoga practice since 2007. He has made several trips to Mysore, India to study Ashtanga Yoga at KPJAYI with Sharath since then. He now works and resides in Bangkok and draws cartoons as hobby during free time. Find his works at www.alliscoming.com