I Discover Hatha Yoga
In my late 30s I began to be troubled by various aches and ailments. The most serious of these, heart palpitations, sent me running to my doctor. He checked me over and reassured me that the palpitations were not serious. They and the occasional pains in my shoulder, neck, and knee were common with people coming into middle years. I was aging, he suggested, and I had to accept that fact. This diagnosis and advice was repeated a year later by another doctor when I moved to another part of the country. I grimly resigned myself to aging.
Shortly after visiting the second doctor, I discovered an early morning television program on Yoga by Richard Hittleman. Although I had been reading Buddhist and Hindu literature for a few years, this was my first contact with Hatha Yoga. Hittleman demonstrated various simple postures (asanas) and described the procedures for entering, holding, and emerging from each asana. These procedures are generally the same for each pose, and may be illustrated with a simple movement, raising the arms above the head.
Begin with your arms relaxed at your sides and exhale as completely as possible. When you are at the bottom of your breath, begin to inhale slowly; simultaneously raise your arms until your hands are pointing up to the ceiling. The movement is slow,