|January 15, 2013||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Jean Hoiland, Uncategorized, Updates||
The topic of age related shrinking popped up after the 8am Slow Stretch class this morning. It was a small class with an age range of 65 to 79 and height range from 5’ 11” to 5’ tall. Everyone in the class said they had indeed noticed diminishing height with age; the range from 1″-2″.
My curiosity was piqued so I promptly came home and measured my 76 year old mother.
If you have ever attended my 9:30am therapeutic yoga class you are familiar with how much I torture her in this class. My sisters and I have all decided she must stay young because she is far too much fun to leave this world before the age of 100.
Therefore I make her attend yoga classes as often as possible. I have had her do burpees and mountain climbers. I have strapped a heart rate monitor on her and marched her huffing and puffing up steep hills, pushing her along if needed. Most recently she has overcome the fear of going upside down and did a supported headstand in yoga class. I am determined to keep her moving, fit and strong.
This morning when I asked her how tall she was at her tallest, she stated a whopping 5’ 1 ¼”. When I measured her at 10:30am she was 5’ 3/4”, not bad considering most people her age lose up to two inches. I think I may succeed in my mission of keeping her hovering near 5′ 1″.
Now to check in with the tape measure for myself. I am 5’ 4 ¾”, one half inch taller than in my teens, twenties and early thirties. Success, I always wanted to be taller. I began my yoga practice around the age of thirty five, I am now 48, and according to most health statistics I should be getting shorter.
I’m pretty sure I won’t get any taller as I have maintained my current height for more than ten years, but I am grateful my stature has not diminished. So what do I attribute my lack of shrinkage to?
In my opinion there are five contributing factors:
- Jumping off the carport, out of trees and off a moving swing as a kid. Impact is important in bone development. Of course I didn’t know that back then, it was just something fun to do and most likely got a rise out of my mom and dad.
- A healthy diet. Home made, organic and no artificial sweeteners. Don’t get me wrong I grew up during the era of Tang and jello but back then those things were sweetened with pure cane sugar not aspartame or corn syrup.
- Having a mother who nit picks you about posture. Constantly reminding me to get my shoulders back, sit up straight, stand up tall. HA! Now I get to torture her but she just doesn’t seem as irritated by it as I was as a kid.
- I regularly hang from monkey bars. In grade school it was called a cherry drop in which you sat on top of the bar then dropped back and got a good swing going then at the appropriate moment you straightened your legs and landed like an Olympic Gymnast. Now a days I head to the play ground at JJ Smith or the back yard swing and just hang from my arms then my knees. It feels wonderful for the spine.
- Finally there is Yoga. The additional half inch in height occurred only after taking up the practice of yoga and learning how to properly align my body through the release of tension in some areas and increased strength in others.
So there you have it. Impact sports when we are young, a good diet and a relentless mother will set the stage for being tall into old age…and if that doesn’t work, take up yoga with an instructor who gets testy if you don’t follow instructions.
The Iyengar style of yoga with its meticulous emphasis on proper alignment and form in postures is my yoga of choice. I will be forever grateful to the teachers who had me hold poses for what seemed like an eternity while pointing out every miniscule misalignment of my joints for everyone to see.
…and the instruction of how to flow from warrior II to side angle and then into reverse warrior without the slightest movement through the legs or hips, not just once but over and over again until perfection and ease were achieved.
There have been many exceptional teachers who have inspired my practice and teaching style and all of them have been students and teachers of proper alignment in the Iyengar tradition. I have no doubt the practice of yoga has allowed me to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally and literally physically over the last decade.
From 5’ 4 ¼” to 5’ 4 ¾” ….there will be no shrinking on my watch.
That’s my mom Carol Hoiland in the above picture. I made her go for a beach walk and then practice some yoga on the beach on a cold day. Isn’t she terrific?
|September 6, 2011||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Updates||
October 2010 I signed the lease on our current location…a 58oo square foot 100 year old building. Shortly after taking possession I had an anxiety attack. The amount of work was overwhelming, and renovations were 100% my responsibility. As with just about all the commercial spaces in town owners want you to take the building in “as is” condition. Most of the doors were missing (12 new doors gets pretty expensive), there were huge gaps around windows, the carpet was ancient and filthy, one bathroom was completely non-functioning and I had no idea how to tackle the job, who would help or how far my money would stretch.
I had a dream, however, of forming a healing arts collective and this building was ideally suited…eventually… of being home to yoga, retail, massage therapist, artist and other professionals. Sometimes our dreams can blind us to realty. The pictures below represent a small portion of the realty I faced after the excitement wore off.
Did I mention that during all of this I was in the middle of an interstate custody dispute traveling back and forth to California? Half way through the renovation my father went into the hospital passing a few days after Christmas. The day after my father’s death the valve on the cities water main broke and they had to shut off water to the building, delaying our opening a week.
It was a slow recovery after all that and we were only able to renovate about half of the upstairs, but what we were able to accomplish turned out beautiful. I hope you will come by and check it out.
I am so grateful for all of the help I have gotten over the last year and the leap of faith it has taken me to hold space for yoga in Enumclaw. It has not been a lucrative endeavor and not long ago while at a seminar in Bellevue people literally laughed out loud when they learned I had a Yoga Studio in Enumclaw.
…but I am committed to continue holding this beautiful space and sharing the practice of yoga. It might take longer than planned but I am determined to transform 1749 Cole Street into a thriving community of yogis and yoginis sharing laughter, conversation and quiet through yoga meditation and other healing modalities with some art, music and good food added to the mix..eventually.
Help us continue moving forward with our renovations by purchasing a membership or class package. We will gladly accept financial donations too (secure Paypal button below). While we are not a 501 non-profit…I can, however, assure you no part of this venture has been profitable to date. So far it is a labor of love and passion for sharing yoga. With your help it could become a venture that offers jobs and employment, business opportunities and most important a sanctuary from this sometimes crazy society we live in.
founder, friend and fellow yogini