Book Reviews - Yoga for Silvers
by T. A. Basubramanian
For those who have been avidly following Shameem Akthar's columns (like me) in this magazine, this slim book will be a fortuitous and invaluable compilation of her insights and yoga lessons.
The term 'silvers' as used in the title is to identify the elderly – typically those over 50, with a keen sense of staying active and vital. Akthar, a disciple of Sadguru Swami Sivananda (to whom this book is dedicated), reassures us that age is no barrier to flexibility, suppleness and energy when it comes to practising simple yoga for well-being.
"I have seen that the silvers among my students invariably find yoga supremely rewarding mainly because it offers the key to unlock the bounty of inner happiness," notes the writer's asana guru, Prahlada, direct disciple of Swami Vishnu-devananda, in the foreword, which sets the tone for the sections that follow.
Akthar has designed this as a pragmatic workbook for the elderly who wish to take their first steps into the way of yoga. There are four sections that form a complement of practices to weave yoga into one's daily living. Yoga and you offers a set of practical tips on cultivating healthy habits of waking, watchful living and exercising, and on dhyana, or meditation. Beautifully yours has a series of yogic anti-aging, eyesight and slimming exercises. The next section, Health is wealth deals with exercises to handle the back, immunity, digestion, circulatory and respiratory ailments. Mindful living is the final section, covering sleep, joyfulness, mental health, and the selection of food.
While there are many books on yoga that go into the science and the practice with great rigour and sophistication, Shameem Akthar takes the opposite route – she writes with a marvellous simplicity and an easy conversational style that inspires confidence and makes one want to get started immediately. The asanas and yogic practices suggested are particularly selected for the elderly.
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