It has been said “From our first breath to our last the only thing constant is change.” If that statement holds a thread of truth, then isn’t the ability to adapt an essential part of life?
At the White Wolf Wellness Foundation, we use yoga, meditation and breathwork to help us navigate the ever-changing flow of life. As yogis, we try to get better at mastering the art of change by observing it within.
Yoga poses allow us to move our bodies in intelligent and safe ways - keeping our joints healthy and capable of their full movement or ranges of motion. The poses also help keep our muscle tissues toned and pliable and less prone to injury and pain. Somedays you wake up and you feel stiffness in one shoulder, somedays the low back is tight. With a regular yoga practice, you learn to adjust your movements to the changes you witness within your body. As one of our head teachers, Stephen Winters, often says, “You have never practiced yoga in a body this old before, so take a minute to get to know it.”
We also practice deep rhythmic breathing. Mindful breathwork allows us to have a connection to our nervous system. To be able to connect to your nervous system is truly a life changing skill. At some point you will experience a rise in nervous energy, or a sympathetic nervous system response. This "fight or flight" nervous system is responsible for all anxiety and fear-laden reactions. Through simple adaptations of our breathing patterns, you can decrease anxiety, slow down racing thoughts and reduce fear. Being able to stay calm and clear headed through those anxiety-riddled times is essential in adaptability because it allows you to also stay open to possibilities instead of closing down with fear.
Yoga and breathwork have also been shown through research to improve health in nearly every system of the body. You have high blood pressure? It can help with that. You have an autoimmune disease? It will help with that. You have asthma? Trouble concentrating? A stiff neck? Injured knee? An active athlete? You only have five minutes to spare? Yes, yes, yes, it can help with those too. Ultimately there is a style of yoga for everyone because the practice of yoga itself is adaptable to fit every body type, age, gender, physical condition and level of flexibility.