I started taking yoga classes at Rockville Bikram Yoga when I realized that the dissipating effects of middle age were outpacing my usual methods for maintaining my weight, physical condition, and general health and well-being. Through nine and a half years of regular practice multiple times per week, I have been able to keep my weight under control, to stay in good enough physical shape to remain active, and to just generally feel better. I also practice yoga so that I can eat. That is, so that I can enjoy most any type of food–in reasonable amounts. I have invested enough mentally, physically, and emotionally in my yoga practice that I do not want to lose the health and well-being that yoga helps me build.
Over the years in activities outside of yoga, I have experienced injuries where I have had to face the possibility that there will be things I like to do that I will never be able to do again. In some ways the aging process seems similar to those injuries. But to paraphrase Reinhold Niebuhr, yoga helps give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things that can be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish one from the other. Can’t say that I have a complete grasp of the grace, courage, or wisdom yet, but yoga has helped me recover from shoulder surgery, nerve damage in my hand, and a number of other challenges, and it has also helped me face limits and to understand that, for better or for worse, today’s limits might not be tomorrow’s. The wonderful teachers at Rockville Bikram Yoga occasionally say, “Yoga, like life, is a journey.” Some days I’m rockin’ it, and some days I’m a puddle on the floor, but I’m still enjoying the journey.