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Lessons from South East Asia

I’ve just returned from a fabulous trip to Cambodia and Vietnam and one of the things that fascinated me was the people and their movement.

One evening in Hanoi I was fortunate enough to be introduced to an 80-year-old, former Vietnamese soldier. Whilst he was telling us amazing tales of his time in the Vietnam war, I was fascinated by his hip mobility. Not many 80-year-olds in the UK could even imagine that range of movement. Sat squatting on a tiny stool he looked as comfortable as any small child would. Walking the streets elderly women squat cooking at small stoves and rise from this position with the elegance of a dancer. Compare this to how our western bodies move as we get older, and you’d almost think we were a different species!

So why? One of the reasons is they keep moving and focus on their mobility. I took a trip out into Hanoi one early morning and all around there were people exercising. Now if you did this in any of the UK’s major cities, you’d probably see people pounding the streets jogging. Hanoi there was a very different picture. Along the side of the road were people doing their daily movement, literally just stopped on the pavement to move; simply standing moving through the spine, lateral flexion, forward flexion and extension, hip rotations, abduction and adduction of the hips. Tai Chi in the parks and an early morning Tango lesson. All mobility focussed movement preparing the mind and body for the day ahead.

Now I can hear people saying that’s great but I can’t do x,y,z, my knees, my hips etc. BUT it’s never too late to make a change, we CAN start doing things that will help improve our mobility. It’s better to start, however late than not at all.

Our Yoga classes are a great place to start, everything can be adapted. Can’t get to the floor? No problem we can use a chair. Can’t sit with your legs crossed? No problem, you don’t have to! Aren’t bendy enough? What’s bendy enough? Your body, Your movement.

We can choose to start to make a change and help ourselves as we grow older. Or we could choose to do nothing. Remember, if you chose to do nothing, you’ve still made a choice but, you’ll never know what could have been….

Take the step and let us support you on a journey to improved health and wellbeing.

Hope to see you soon.


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