“It’s very slow, very meditative — arguably boring — but absolutely exquisite, and it’s given me access to meditation,” he said. “One premise of this style of yoga is, ‘Don’t do anything today that would prevent you from doing yoga tomorrow.’ I’ve never been sore, I’ve never been injured.”
Despite its benefits, building yoga into his life hasn’t necessarily come naturally for Calfee.
“I never had a relationship with my body that I had any level of athletic ability, strength, coordination — any of that — it was just not me,” he said.
And yet, as this Decatur resident looks toward 70, yoga, along with diet and movement, has returned his once high blood pressure to normal, and he now weighs the same as he did in his early 20s.
“I did not set out to be able to bend at the waist and put my hands on the floor — like, unimaginable,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of things in the past number of years that have happened that I’ve walked away from, and I attribute that to the elasticity and bounce that I have as a result of moving my body.”
‘The ultimate beginners’ yoga’
Ashley Hall, co-owner of Pure Motion Yoga, echoes the importance of using restorative techniques, which he calls “the ultimate beginners’ yoga,” to establish correct positioning.
“The goal is to really relax and calm the body by using the props to support completely the pose, so you’re not really in any state of actively doing or really stretching, but you’re receiving the benefits,” he said.
Those benefits may come in the form of weight loss, stress and pain reduction and better sleep, according to the Sleep Foundation. Yoga is particularly beneficial, the foundation states, for improving sleep quality in older people experiencing sleep disruption from issues like insomnia and snoring.
As pandemic risks have abated, Hall said, he’s seen more restorative participants — many seniors among them — looking to reduce stress.
“We see a lot of seniors,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot more now that people are feeling a little bit more comfortable coming back into the studio … people who are retired and in that mindset of enabling themselves to just not constantly be doing, doing, doing.”
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