Two books for September: Book One on Yoga

September is National Yoga Month, back-to-school month, and the first anniversary (earlier this month) of Joan Rivers’ untimely death. She was also a grandmother  andNational Grandparents’ Day was Sept. 13th, so I wanted to post the review in Sept. So here are three books to cover these three topics, one today and two tomorrow:

In April of this year, we went to Ojai as part of our visit to family on the West Coast. I met with Suza Francina, who started learning and teaching yoga back in the 1970s, when I took my first yoga class. In her home is a yoga wall where she teaches, as well as at a local yoga center, The Ojai Yoga Center, which Suza calls her “living laboratory.” She gave me a review copy of her best-selling book, The New Yoga for People Over 50.

This book delivers exactly what the subtitle states: “A Comprehensive Guide for Midlife and Older Beginners.” As Suza notes in the Foreword, “One has to accept changes in body function as a natural part of life,” and “Daily practice of yoga will keep old age at bay.” And my first yoga teacher, Michael Volin, the father of Australian yoga (and someone both of us knew), stated that if you keep your spine supple, you will keep your body young and flexible. Thus, while we are accepting the changes in our bodies, we can still stay supple with yoga. And I can attest to that!

The many photos are accompanied by statements from older yoga teachers that Suza incorporates into this all-encompassing guide to yoga for anyone, but especially for older people who may be new to yoga. In the photos you can also see many props that allow almost anyone interested in flexibility to accomplish the poses.

Here are some of the chapter titles that will help you see how comprehensive this book really is:

Sample chapter titles:  “Our Changing View of Aging,” “How Yoga Slows Down and Reverses the Aging Process,” and “Yoga for Feet and Knees Over 50. Perhaps the most important chapters for this website are Chapters 6-8, “Yoga: A Reliable Companion During Menopause,” “Weight Bearing Yoga Postures Help Prevent Osteoporosis,”
Yoga Techniques to Prevent or Overcome Arthritis.”

I read every chapter, because each one taught me something new about my my body, mind, and heart vis-à-vis yoga. As Suza notes in Chapter 9, “Opening the Heart with Yoga,” our hearts are where body, mind, and spirit converge. There aren’t oo many exercise routines that will do that!

Suza is a hands-on yoga teacher, as the picture below, where she (on the left) is holding/stretching the arms of an older student. Also, as Suza herself grows older, I believe she is more in tune with older bodies, staying in touch with her own body through teaching and practicing yoga.

This book is my #1 recommendation for older people who want to stay flexible. The heavy use of props, the stories of older yoga teachers and students, the photos, the topics geared for our aging bodies, are all helpful. If you have been fearful of trying yoga, read this book and your confidence will soar as you view men and women in their 80s doing yoga. (Most of the props are straps, pillows and bolsters, but another person(s) can also work as a prop.)

I cannot say enough about this book. It has opened my old-yoga eyes to using more props than I had previously considered. And the health information about menopause, osteoporosis, and arthritis warrants its reading and buying to have as your companion when exploring yoga over 50.   Suzi is the author of five other books, and her writing is clear and easy-to-read.

Google the title to buy on Amazon or go to the publishers website (Health Communications, Inc.) www.hcibooks.com. There are 286 pages with a pre ponderous of photos. The costis only $13.95, less than yoga class!

P.S. In 2007 I reviewed another of Suza’s books, Yoga and the Wisdom Menopause. Here is the link: http://www.menupause.info/archives/188.

2 Responses to “Two books for September: Book One on Yoga”

  1. Mary-Lou Meyers Says:

    thanks for the update on Yoga, although my fitness is involved primarily with walking
    and various exercises and swimming. I can see the value in it, and my daughter swears by it.
    So maybe I should give it a try.

  2. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Try Yin Yoga or Gentle Yoga. Both very relaxing. ellensue

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