O Dr. Loren Fishman, especialista em dores nas costas e reabilitação, respondeu a uma série de perguntas feitas pelos leitores do jornal The New York Times sobre a prática do Yoga para aqueles acima dos 45 anos. O médico americano estudou por um ano com BKS Iyengar e sua experiência pode ser comprovada pelas colocações muito objetivas e claras.
Selecionei dois trechos que seguem abaixo. O conteúdo completo vale a pena ser conferido no site do jornal americano (Advice on practicing yoga at middle age).
Is yoga good for the aging population? My answer is yes. A couple of years ago I ran into my yoga teacher, B.K.S. Iyengar, at a conference in India. Though he was over 90 years old, he was capable of traveling to China and giving a three-day workshop consisting of classes that lasted for many hours each day. When he saw me he rose gracefully from his chair and greeted me by name, though we hadn’t seen each other for more than 20 years. I think Mr. Iyengar is an example of what yoga can do for an aging human. To me he seemed like a man 30 years younger. And, in a way, beyond age.
AGING AND YOGA
Q. For fit people without specific health issues in middle age who already practice yoga, it would be nice to have knowledge about and access to a series of poses appropriate for this age group, which can be arranged into routines of various difficulties to form the core of a yoga class. Also targeting areas, like the lower back, with specific poses for this age group would be helpful. We can then take this knowledge to and practice it with our local yoga community. Thanks. — David, Maine
Q. Which yoga styles are best if you’re starting at age 50? — LOL, Ithaca
Q. I am 61. Very inflexible, have a history of low back and neck pain that are currently minor. I get regular exercise at a gym and I hike in the mountains several times a week. What is the best way to get introduced to yoga? — Burrito’s, Westbrook, Maine
A. Besides these readers, Big Bird from NYC and SH and Pinotman from Chicago wrote in wanting to know the best place and the best way to begin or resume yoga when you are over 50. The absolute best way is to find out what your liabilities are, and this is an individual matter, requiring a medical visit or summary. The next step is an appointment with an experienced and smart yoga teacher, one on one. Group classes are an artifact of urban economics: the teacher cannot afford to live in the city in which she teaches any other way. But chronic conditions are cumulative, by definition: when you’re older you need the individual attention that yoga has traditionally offered.
I believe the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar are the most anatomically sophisticated and therapeutically oriented, but there are many other good types of yoga. You’ll need a resourceful and sensitive person to get you started, and to introduce you to an appropriate yoga practice that you can do every day. Then, after a month or two or three, you should go back to that person for a reassessment and suggestions about how to progress to the next step. Yoga, practiced consistently, does good things to your temperament and perceptions.