04 Sep Starting Yoga in Later Life
Are you looking for ways to stay fit and healthy in later life but the thought of going to the gym fills you with dread, then why not try yoga? Here’s why you should try starting yoga in later life.
I’m lucky enough to teach a Beginners Yoga class every Wednesday evening at the Wellbeing Warehouse. I love teaching beginners yoga because I get to teach people the foundations of yoga and to help grow their passion for yoga. These classes give people a chance to slow down and to really look at the postures in-depth, learning how to get in and out of them safely and how to use props if needed. It also gives them the opportunity to try new poses slowly and with a curious mind, knowing that if they can’t do it then that’s okay because they are just beginning!
For many people who don’t do yoga, it can feel quite daunting coming to a yoga class. They worry that they are going to be the worst in the class and many people say “I can’t do yoga, I’m not flexible enough” and to them I say “Then you really do need yoga my friend!”
In my Beginners Yoga class I have all kinds of people who turn up. I have men and women; People in their 20’s and people in their 60’s; Those who have been coming to the class for months and months (rolling into years) and those who have never stepped onto a yoga mat before; And people who can easily touch their toes and people who are nowhere near!
Recently I’ve been having quite a few students coming to my Beginners class looking for a way to keep active during their 50’s. For what ever reason, they let exercise fall to the wayside and they are starting to feel the effects so were looking (or recommended by the doctor) to try yoga to help keep them supple and strong. I am so excited when I hear this because firstly, I am so pleased to see they have taken the first step in the right direction and turned up to the class and secondly because I get to take them on their journey to feeling great!
Here are some reasons why starting a yoga practice in later life is a great idea:
- Eases out stiff and tight muscles
- Alleviates back pain
- Is a form of exercise that can raise your heart rate without the sweaty treadmill
- Can help to reduce any back or joint pain
- Having an qualified yoga instructor with you helps to guide you into postures safely to avoid injury
- Improves circulation, especially in the hands and feet
- It has been found to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and raise ‘good cholesterol levels
- Builds strength in the muscles
- Can help with early osteoporosis
- Helps with balance
- Keeps you fit!
Even if you don’t feel like you have any problems remember – prevention is better than cure! It is really important to maintain a healthy state of body. My yoga teacher trainer always said “Use it or lose it!” which I believe to be so true. If we don’t use our muscles we will loose the strength. If we don’t test our balance, we will loose that core strength.
Tips For Starting a Class
If you’re nervous about trying a class, then hopefully these tips can help you:
- Take someone with you! Going with someone can help ease your nerves, no matter how old you are! You can have a little giggle together.
- Choose the right class – avoid classes labelled ‘vinyasa’ or ‘flow’ as these are quite fast paced and not really suitable if you have never done yoga before. Try a slower class such as ‘Beginners’, ‘Yin’ or ‘Iyengar’.
- Tell the teacher that you are brand new. They will more than likely take care of you, helping you to find a spot, getting you everything you need and explaining how the class works beforehand. They will also likely take more time explaining the basic poses during the practice as they know someone in the class has never done yoga before.
- If you’re really worried, then book a couple of 1-1 classes with a local teacher who can take you through a couple of sessions before joining a class. You can find more out about my 1-1 yoga sessions here.
- Take your time and don’t compare. Remember:
Find out more about my Beginners yoga class here.
Hope to see you on the mat soon!