Do you want to start practicing yoga over 50? Some might be nervous about starting a practice later in life because they associate yoga with bending and twisting their bodies into all kinds of unusual shapes. Don’t worry. That’s not all yoga has to offer.
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that can make you feel healthier overall. It comes in various styles, allowing you to pick something that suits you best. It isn’t just about trying to do a handstand or putting your legs behind your head. If you feel up to it, you can try those things too, but you certainly don’t have to.
Benefits of yoga over 50
You can start a yoga practice at any stage of your life. There is no such thing as starting too early or too late. Practicing yoga has many benefits for seniors.
People who practice yoga find that they:
- Sleep better
- Feel a greater overall sense of wellbeing
- Have improved focus
- Feel more energetic during the day
Yoga can be a very gentle exercise, but it does so much to improve your health. It has been found to:
- Increase strength
- Improve flexibility
- Decrease chronic pain
- Help with arthritis
- Decrease heart disease
- Ease stress and anxiety
- Relieve back pain
As we age, our muscles and joints stiffen. Getting up from a low chair or sitting on the floor might be more challenging. Practicing yoga gives you the strength and flexibility you need to keep your muscles and joints healthy. When you practice, you move your body in a way you normally don’t. You get time to stretch muscles gently and let them lengthen. You use your body weight to help you grow stronger.
Many people struggle with their balance as they age. Yoga poses like tree pose and half moon pose help you work on your ability to balance. These poses exercise the muscles in your ankles and feet. As you practice balancing, you’ll notice that each time you get better and better.
Types of yoga
Yoga over 50 doesn’t have to be different than the yoga people at any age practice, but if you are starting a yoga practice for the first time, these styles might be best to try.
Most teachers will give you options to use props to help make poses easier for you. For example, you don’t have to be able to put your legs into lotus pose or do splits to take a yoga class. Most gentle classes won’t include poses like that, and if you encounter a posture that you can’t do, the teacher can show you how to modify the posture to suit your body or give you an alternate you can do instead.
In yoga classes, students use props like yoga blocks, bolsters, straps, and chairs to support them during their practice. These props make it easier to hold poses using the proper alignment.
Yoga for seniors has many benefits. It can improve your quality of life and help keep you healthy as you age.
Try practicing with the gentle yoga class below and see how you feel afterward.
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