There are different ways to practise yoga and over the last 100 years the practice has become rather more workout-focused and less mindful. Often classes are taught in gyms. They tend to be drop-in classes where people with very different experience and ability join in together. Even a highly skilled teacher can find this challenging.

This has led to the idea that yoga might not be for the normal person, only for the young and bendy. This might be true as far as some of the newly developed styles of yoga are concerned, but there are lots of yoga practices that are beneficial for every person, of any weight and of any age. The practice of yoga was meant to be for everybody who wants to live a more fulfilling and meaningful life. The word 'yoga', after all, means a connection of body, mind and soul.

In fact, any activity done with a mindful attitude can help you to get through the day with ease, calm and enough energy to keep going. On top of that you can discover gifts of tranquility and focus you thought you could never have.

A short yoga practice

  • Free up the neck: sit on a chair, looking ahead, then allow the chun to drop on to the breast bone. Then look up again. Repeat a few times and be very mindful of the movement that occurs in your neck/cervical spine. Come back to the start position and feel the neck now.
  • Sit upright, look ahead and allow the head to drop forward on to the chest. Now gently let the head sway left and right in small movements like a pendulum. Follow the movement attentively. When you have repeated it 5-7 times come back to the upright position and feel the neck now.
  • Free up the shoulders: you can do this movement sitting, lying down or even in the morning before you get out of bed. With the arms along the sides of the body, draw the right shoulder up towards the ear and let it sink back to the start position. Repeat several times, then stop and sense into the upper body and shoulder. Then draw the right shoulder forwards and back. Repeat several times and come back to the start position. Feel the upper body and shoulder now. Then bring these two movements together and start to circle the right shoulder. Do you notice any difference? In size, temperature, weight, length? Now repeat on the other side and then circle both shoulders together.