Nadine Kelly is a retired pathologist, experienced yoga instructor, American Council of Exercise certified Health Coach and Senior Exercise Specialist, founder of YOGI M.D. and host of the YOGI M.D. Podcast. For years, she was a practicing physician in a thriving community hospital setting. But despite having reached what she thought was her ultimate goal, something was missing – a sense of true fulfillment. The time had come to focus on health, wellness, and prevention.
She started with her own and soon realized her true sense of fulfillment would be found in helping others.
Why yoga? It began with her mother’s cancer.
It continued with her wanting to find some peace from the realization that pathology was not going to be her “forever home” and all that this would mean to her identity and those who supported her on that long journey.
When she says that yoga is for every body, she means every age, stage, and ability. Everybody in any kind of body can do yoga.
And what you learn, feel, and experience might surprise you if you’ve not tried it yet.
Nadine says “Yoga is one long breathing practice. It's not about your headstand, it's not about crow pose. It’s not about judging what you can’t do but accepting what your body can do.”
She looks at yoga as a way to help her to live a better life. “Because all we can count on is change right now.”
For those who want to try yoga but feel intimidated or like you are just not flexible enough:
Arthur Ashe, one of Nadine’s favorite mentors said, "Start where you are, use what you have. Do what you can."
If you are just starting with yoga, look for something that's friendly, like a beginner class.
Hatha yoga is a form of yoga where they focus on a lot of alignment. It tends to be a gentler class for beginner level students as well.
She recommends you meet the teacher.
You have to find the right teacher for you. His or her energy is just as important as what kind or level of class you take.
We talked about Restorative yoga and how delicious it is, how you can melt into the poses. I highly recommend it if you need to destress.
I wanted to know about chair yoga.
Nadine describes it as an elevated floor practice.
“It's not about making the pose or making your body force itself into a pose. It's about accommodating the pose so that it works for your body.” The chair assists in this.
“Yoga is an opportunity to evolve. With the inevitable changes in your life, in your body, in your circumstances. I think yoga is magic.”
Flexibility? You acquire flexibility because you practice. You gain more as you do take more classes.
Speaking of comparing ourselves to others…
“Well, a yoga class allows you to stop and pause and listen to that voice that says ‘I should be able to do this, what's wrong with me?’”
Can you adapt, can you become more mentally flexible?
What is the story you're telling yourself in that moment?
“A byproduct of that showing yourself compassion is then you want to show the others around you more compassion as well.”
This realization came in handy during lockdown with her spouse of 25 years.
In short, yoga is malleable. For everybody, every situation.