Connie Megginson30 Jun 2017
Connie Megginson knew from the beginning that she loved yoga. She started practicing in London about 38 years ago in a very busy class with loads of students and a teacher who was rather remote.
“My first impressions were that it was funny, with lots of weird postures and earnest people. I couldn’t take it seriously”, recalls Connie.
Fifteen years on and life’s circumstances had changed. Connie had a busy and stressful job and went back to yoga as much for the relaxation and help controlling her stress. With hindsight she is able to say that was when she finally started to appreciate the deeper significance of yoga and began to take it more seriously. For two years Connie practiced yoga every week.
“Going to the gym suddenly became fashionable”, Connie remembers. “I couldn’t get to yoga classes at the time, so took out a gym membership instead.” However, she didn’t enjoy the experience, since going to the gym left her with aches, pains and injuries. She was constantly pulling muscles and left each session feeling hyped up and more stressed. Visits to an osteopath for treatment and for massage become an all too regular feature. She adds “So little instruction was given and none of it was specific to me and my body. So I pushed and strained, yet didn’t feel any fitter. In fact, I felt worse”.
It was when Connie finally retired from her job as a head teacher that she came back to yoga once again. Thinking that retirement would mean time for herself, Connie was suddenly dealt a rather different hand, when her elderly mother became ill and required constant care. At times her caring role left her feeling drained and under pressure. Thankfully her yoga practice taught her mindfulness and ways of controlling her breathing to reduce anxiety.
These days Connie is a regular at yoga classes, trying to attend at least twice each week and says her enthusiasm for yoga remains undiminished. “I’m stronger, have more stamina and a better posture than ever before.” There has been so much improvement physically and mentally. Connie credits her improvements as stemming from how much more aware and educated she is about her musculoskeletal system and core muscles. She now understands and accepts her limitations. Knowing that you can, and should stop, when reaching your limit is how she is able to make improvements without causing aches and injuries.
“Yoga has created dramatic changes to me and my lifestyle. I no longer go to the gym. I have the tools to get fit and stay healthy without machines or equipment. I’ve hung on to my good old yoga mat over the years and that’s all I need to stay feeling good.”
Connie loves the social side of yoga classes too. It’s a pleasure for her to be in a class with like-minded people. She enjoys working with a teacher who can advise and adapt postures so she makes greater gains and benefits safely. “When people ask how I’m spending my retirement, the first thing I tell them is that I’ve taken up yoga. I explain how wonderful it makes me feel. I’m five years older and feel fitter than I felt ten years ago’’ and she continues “Yoga is something that I’ll still be able to do when I’m in my nineties!” And we believe her.