Yoga for the Sedentary

By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 28 September, 2012

Dear Spiritual Explorer:  I hear so much about yoga these days and confess to being a bit older and quite sedentary. Could you recommend a practice for me?  Sylvia M., Raleigh, NC


Yoga for Wimps

Dear Sylvia: It’s true that there is so much written and spoken about yoga that one can become very overwhelmed at the thought of practicing, especially when you think of yourself as a beginner. That is why I am so delighted to have come across this great book at Ma’s India called Yoga for Wimps, Poses for the Flexibly Impaired by Miriam Austin. Is that a great title or what?

Yoga for Wimps is for the vast majority of us who are not very strong or flexible, but would like to be able to reduce stress, relieve lower back pain and generally reclaim our sense of well being. To that end, there are myriad pictures and illustrated poses in this book, all designed with us in mind.

Ms.Austin talks about suffering from a knee and lower back injury resulting in surgery where she could no longer run or bicycle. Finding her way back to an old teacher, she fully committed to yoga and found that within eight months, something “clicked” in her hip and she had no knee pain since. That was in 1988.

It is obvious that this woman has suffered physical limitations, including chronic neck and back pain, knee problems and lack of flexibility, so that she truly understands what most people need from yoga. Written with the average, and sometimes less than average, person in mind, this book is for those who have tried yoga and who have hopelessly given up as they failed in their attempt to place a foot behind their ears.

Ms.Austin understands that the great majority of us cannot begin yoga by doing classic poses. She promises that you will feel better, both physically and spiritually. She even thinks that at some point, if practiced diligently, you will graduate from being a Yoga wimp.

I know you will love this book. Usually when I look at illustrations in a yoga book, I begin to despair of being able to do them, but these colorful and less than esoteric poses actually look like something a beginner with some physical problems might easily undertake.

Thanks so much for writing, Spiritual Explorer.

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