Regular yoga improves outlook in retirement

May 19, 2013

When Alexis retired to the area 10 years ago from a big city, her friends stuck up their noses and said what are you going to do in Delaware? Alexis signed up with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (email and took classes in everything from pottery to jazz to Hemingway. She has joined the Sussex Bird Club and has immersed herself in the League of Women Voters where she learned about our local government and politics. Alexis writes, “When I go back to visit, I tell my friends that I can’t keep up with all the wonderful activities here.”

Speaking of wonderful activity, Karen from Lewes wrote, “There is medical proof that those who participate in yoga practice regularly are healthier because yoga helps our immune system ward off infections. This past winter every family member and friend of mine 65 or older had respiratory infections… and I did not! While there are many places to choose, I highly recommend The Yoga Studio on Route 24 in Peddlers Village run by Andrea Kennedy. You will not be sorry you tried it!”

You don’t have to convince me. Yoga has changed me physically and mentally. My kindergarten report card says I failed napping. For some idiotic reason I thought that once I retired I would never be worried again. I can hear you laughing.

In my challenge to try something new and different, I took a dance class last week called Masala Bhangra taught by Kari Ainsworth (Tuesdays 8:45-9:30 a.m. at theyogastudio24 - $10 drop-in fee).  Kari became proactive about her own health after caring for a mother who had COPD and emphysema.

Kari’s brochure lured me in. “Masala Bhangra is a blend of high-energy dance steps with Bollywood moves!” Creator Sarina Jain, aka the Jane Fonda of India began this workout class after losing her father at age 49 due to a heart attack.

Jain says, “I wanted my aunties and uncles to get up and move…and my father wanted me to never forget our Indian roots.” Masala means spicy and Bhangra is a folk dance from Punjab in northern India. Nothing better than a spicy folk dance! We skidded across the wood floor circling our wrists above our heads enjoying the cultural music as Kari walked us through easy-to-follow dance steps. We laughed and acted like fourth-graders. I loved it!

Finally, my intellectual friend Tom from Rehoboth sent me an interesting article titled, Brand Thinking: Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink and other Mavens on How and Why We Define Ourselves Through Stuff, written by Maria Popova. Pink writes, “If a brand is making a promise that you’re going to feel better about yourself if you buy it, they’re making a false promise...If you’re always looking to…get satisfaction from buying stuff or having a bigger house, then you’re on an endless, addictive treadmill…you’re doomed…people’s long-term happiness and well-being is about having deep personal relationships, believing in something larger than themselves and doing something meaningful that they enjoy.”

I am not doomed yet, folks. I like buying presents for others and love that Rayquest likes to buy boutique wines from smaller vineyards. I feel grateful for all of my friends who fit onto my deck. Together we watch a robin take a bath. Now, they know how to move!

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