Why Older Yogis Often School Younger Ones in Strenuous Poses
Subscribe to Outside+ now to get unique access to all of our content, including sequences, instructor tips, video lessons, and much more. When elderly individuals inquire, “Am I too old for yoga?” I respond affirmatively. I’d like to share the following tale with you: Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m., I used to teach a yoga class in New York City when I first started teaching there in the 1990s. The pupils were largely older ladies in their 50s, with a few students in their 20s thrown in for good measure.
However, week after week, the older women consistently outperformed the 20-year-olds in these more difficult postures and movements.
The younger kids were still getting used to the fact that they were in adult bodies.
They had devoted many hours, weeks, and years to figuring out what they could and could not accomplish, both physically and intellectually, and what they were capable of.
Wisdom comes with age
When we’re younger and first begin practicing yoga, we’re typically compelled to do the most difficult and bizarre positions. The irony is that doing bigger, crazier positions has never resulted in someone becoming a better yoga student. This is due to the fact that yoga is not about getting into shape. What it is all about is obtaining calm and slowing down, cognitively processing thoughts, and becoming more proficient at living a meaningful life. Our yoga practice provides us with the much-needed opportunity to reflect on what the world has to offer.
Yoga also assists us in developing more positive connections with ourselves and with one another.
No matter what age you are, beginning a yoga practice will provide you with all of these fantastic benefits.
How to start a yoga practice at any age
- Many of us feel compelled to attempt the more difficult postures when we are younger and just starting out with yoga. This is the irony: Practicing bigger, crazier positions has never resulted in someone becoming a better yoga practitioner. Yoga doesn’t need you to achieve specific body forms. For me, it’s about finding calm, slowing down, cognitively processing thoughts, and becoming more proficient at living a life with purpose. As a result of our yoga practice, we have the opportunity to reflect on what the world has to offer. Creating some space from the deluge of data and assimilation of our news feeds enables us to make more informed decisions as a result of the information overload. Practicing yoga can also assist us in developing more positive interpersonal interactions with ourselves and others. More suppleness in our body allows us to move more freely and comfortably throughout our daily lives. Any age group can benefit from beginning a yoga practice because of the many advantages it provides. For further information, see Yoga for Seniors: A Sequence to Aid with Your Mobility.
In addition, see 15 Anti-Aging Health Benefits of Yoga and Kundalini Yoga Tricks to Reverse Aging, From the Inside-Out for further information. Do you want to take your yoga practice to the next level? In addition to unlimited access to exclusive articles, sequences, meditations, and live experiences—including thousands of healthy recipes and meal plans fromClean Eating andVegetarian Times—you’ll also get access to content from more than 35 other brands, including Women’s Running, Backpacker, and Better Nutrition.
Yoga instructor and founder of Vesselify (previously 90Monkeys), an online and in-person professional development institution that has helped yoga teachers and studios in more than 65 countries across the world improve their abilities and knowledge.
Earlier this year, she co-authored the book, The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga, which has now become a standard in yoga teacher training programs all around the world. www.amyippoliti.com.
Why you’re never too old to do yoga
Jennifer Boksa thought it was time for a change of scenery after years of lifting weights and hitting the treadmill at the gym. As a result, she enrolled in a yoga class in January and has been consistently practicing herasanasandpranayamas-yogic postures and breathing techniques-since then, with great success. In the words of Ms. Boksa, a 40-year-old resident of Georgetown, northwest of Toronto, “I was starting to acquire bruises from my gym activities.” “Yoga seems like something I’ll be able to maintain as I grow older.” In Canada, yoga, which was formerly considered by many North Americans to be merely a New Age craze, has become part of the mainstream fitness industry, with courses available in hundreds of gyms and boutique yoga studios across the nation.
- There are three main components to this ancient practice, which is believed to have originated more than 5,000 years ago in South Asia.
- When used together, these three components create a practice that progressively boosts the body’s efficiency while also improving overall physical and mental health – all without the discomfort normally associated with traditional gym workouts.
- Yogis frequently associate yoga with pretzel positions and other seemingly difficult bodily contortions, according to Angela Alchesi, a yoga instructor at theYoga Sanctuary in Toronto.
- When it comes to yoga, “you’re never too old,” adds Ms.
- Indeed, when you get older and your body is no longer able to withstand the rigors of intense workouts, you’ll discover that yoga is the ideal practice for you.
- Winogrond, who teaches Ashtsanga, a more advanced and rigorous type of yoga, believes that everyone, regardless of age, may benefit from the practice.
- If you are new to yoga, Maureen Vohora, co-owner of Gita Hot Yoga Club, Spa and Boutique in Oakville (just west of Toronto), recommends starting with a beginners’ class, which is less physically taxing and focuses more on learning basic yoga positions and breathing techniques.
Vohora recommends letting the instructor know that you are new to yoga and addressing your physical limits with him or her before beginning.
“Make careful to report any and all health issues,” advises Ms.
“If you were in a vehicle accident five years ago and sustained a neck injury, or if you are experiencing continuous back discomfort, you must inform the teacher of this.” According to Ms.
It is also crucial to remember that you may just sit out a particularly tough practice or position at any moment and simply go into it later, says the instructor.
A certain form of yoga practice, he explains, “may help repair problems, but the incorrect type might make them worse.” As an example, hot yoga might be beneficial for someone who has scoliosis, which is a disorder in which the spine is excessively curved, according to Mr.
Yoga programs that include a lot of floor practice – in which students lie down on the ground – and side bends are especially beneficial for those with scoliosis, according to him.
“Once you discover a yoga style that you believe in, stick with it and push yourself as far as you possibly can before gradually branching out and trying something new,” she advises.
She claims that, in the end, all forms of yoga provide the same core advantages.
There are currently more than 100 different forms of yoga being practiced.
Listed below are just a few examples of yoga practices to get you started.
In addition to a heavy emphasis on appropriate body alignment, Iyengar makes use of props such as blocks, belts, and wooden devices to assist practitioners who lack the flexibility to execute poses properly or who are unable to maintain the poses for the necessary amount of time.
Through a series of resting poses, the emphasis is on assisting the body in relaxing.
This helps to warm and release the muscles, which makes it easier to do the poses.
Power yoga, or vinyasa flow yoga, is a kind of yoga that combines moves in such a way that one flows into the next.
Rhythmic motions and breathing methods are used in conjunction with each other. Because it is comparable to Ashtanga but less advanced, vinyasa flow is appropriate for individuals who have health issues.
Yoga: it’s never too late to reap the benefits
If you look at the renowned images of BKS Iyengar – the grey-haired, bendy-bodied yoga instructor (who was born, according to legend, in 1918) – you could have one of two sensations. First and foremost, to arouse admiration for how this style of physical training, which became popular in the western world during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, can maintain a person strong and flexible, even at the age of forty-something but on the cusp of a century. Those who are unable to even touch their toes, on the other hand, may take one glance and be filled with despair.
- However, it’s improbable that someone who begins practicing yoga in their mid-life will be able to pipe-cleaner themselves into Iyengar-style backbends at any point in their lives.
- If yoga is beginning to sound like a cure for all ills, there are plenty of yoga instructors who would claim that it is, in fact, a remedy for everything.
- One research conducted for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine involved enrolling 21 over-60s in a hatha yoga session once a week for 12 weeks.
- In order to be eligible, individuals had to be suffering from ‘dowager’s hump’ (hyperkyphosis), the dreaded bent back that makes it difficult to walk around normally.
- As an added benefit, several participants stated that their balance had improved, which is something to keep in mind for anybody who is concerned about falling over like a ninepin in older life.
- A short pilot research on bone loss was conducted in 2009, and the results were published in the journal Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation.
- In this study, seven participants were allocated to the control group after undergoing a baseline bone density test at the start, and 11 people taught a 10-posture yoga sequence that comprised fundamental poses such as downward-and upward-facing dog, bridge position, and triangle.
Another bone density test was performed after two years, and whereas practically every member of the control group either lost bone or maintained their current level of bone density, almost 85 percent of the yoga group grew bone in their spine and hip.
Loren Fishman, the researcher who conducted the study, was taken aback by the findings.
Despite BKS Iyengar’s claim that “daily practice of yoga will keep old age at bay,” it is not sufficient for maintaining general fitness and health.
For example, somebody who experiences hot flushes would want to think carefully about performing warrior position in a bikram studio where the temperature is higher than in Hawaii.
These classes, in my opinion, dispel the myth that yoga is not a competitive sport.
Combining walking with yoga (or, better yet, finding a studio that is a handy 20-minute power walk from your house or workplace) may prove to be the prescription for long-term fitness. What’s the added bonus? It’s possible that you’ll be able to untie your own trainers once you arrive.
Am I Too Old To Practice Yoga? Experts Share Advice
Yogis are often associated with youthful, athletic athletes who do difficult, gorgeous positions in front of an audience. However, the fact is that yoga is suitable for everyone, regardless of their physical form, degree of expertise, or age. A regular yoga practice (which is made simple by Aptiv) can result in greater flexibility, increased strength, less stress, and more good sleep, to mention a few of the many advantages. Yoga can also help you feel more attentive, centered, and present in your everyday life on a psychological level.
Here are three compelling reasons to begin cultivating a mind-body connection now.
Yoga includes much more than physical movement.
“Yoga is something that anybody and everyone can practice,” says Mary McCarthy, a yoga instructor based in Iowa. “Yoga is more than just a series of asanas. It has a total of eight limbs. Yamas (moral disciplines), niyamas (personal observances), asanas (postures), pranayama (breath), dharana (directed attention), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (sacred silence) are some of the practices included in yoga (enlightenment). As a result, anyone at any moment can engage in yoga practice. It is not necessary to practice yoga on a mat; it is a way of life.” According to Aptivtrainer Ceasar F.
Similarly, any physical parts of yoga are dependent on your physical condition.
However, according to Barajas, you are never too old to begin practicing yoga as long as you are not in a position to hurt yourself or do bodily injury.
You can modify your practice, or focus on different elements.
Yoga asana practice can progress from a highly conventional movement-based practice to a modified practice with changes to accommodate for adaptations or ailments in the body, or to a practice performed in a chair or with additional assistance, according to McCarthy. People get increasingly engaged in yoga’s meditation and breathing techniques as they get older, which is a good thing.” Non-physical practices such as yoga can also be spiritual in nature.” Yoga may be practiced anywhere: at a studio, in a gym, or even in the privacy of one’s own residence.
However, it may be challenging to figure out how to customize yoga postures to your specific needs, especially if you have arthritis or osteoporosis, and that’s where a knowledgeable instructor can be a tremendous advantage, according to McCarthy.
“When you practice with others, it should not seem like you are competing with them.
It’s important to remember that “soft” or “chair” yoga does not always equate to “easy.” It may be straightforward, but it is not always straightforward.
Depending on their physical condition, these programs can provide a wide range of opportunities for people to work at their own particular level and achieve what they can.”
It might make you feel younger, and provide a fresh start to a new season of life.
In his early thirties, Barajas thinks he’s in better mental and physical form than he was more than two decades ago. “Why? Because the general advantages of a daily yoga practice not only help to physically improve the body as we age, but they also help to strengthen the mind as we age. As a result of reducing stress and learning to consciously breathe, the physical body suffers less wear and tear and recovers more quickly; in effect, this assists in slowing or even slowing down the aging process.” Aaptiv can help you get started with a regular yoga practice right now.
- In McCarthy’s opinion, people choose to practice yoga for a variety of different reasons.
- In order to avoid falling, yoga may help you heal from injury, keep your muscles and joints strong, and improve your balance and coordination.
- Rather than stuffing our sentiments deep inside or dismissing them, McCarthy explains that yoga helps us acknowledge and become aware of how we are feeling, as well as deal with our feelings as they arise.
- “There is always the opportunity to start afresh.
- You’ll like the sense of independence that comes with being able to pick what you want to do.
- There is no one else here to stop you but yourself.”
It’s Never Too Late to Start Practicing Yoga
After graduation, I began practicing yoga for the first time. At the time, I didn’t live within walking distance of the gym to which I joined, but there was a yoga class nearby that I could go to for relaxation. So, hesitantly, I stopped in at the most athletic class offered (at this time, I could barely touch my toes!). To my total and utter surprise, I really enjoyed it. My thoughts were dominated by the question, “What is this great stuff that is making me feel so awesome, and how did I not discover it sooner?” I took advantage of the studio’s three-month unlimited membership offer for new members and visited almost every day.
- No moment is ever a bad time to re-establish your connection with yourself, which is exactly what yoga accomplishes.
- Yoga merely provides you with the instruments to do your own experiments in your own laboratory.
- Beyond the physical advantages of enhanced flexibility, greater strength, weight reduction, and stress relief that yoga provides, yoga has the added benefit of helping you to clear your mind and feel more at peace with yourself.
- However, the nature of yoga aids in the discovery of how to relax and allow things to unfold more organically in your life.
- Yoga is for everybody who can take a deep breath.
- Excellent if your yoga practice incorporates a lot of movement that causes you to sweat and leaves you feeling wildly joyful as a result.
If the purpose of your yoga practice is to concentrate on your breathing in order to relieve worry or tension, that’s fantastic! Regardless of the yoga path you pick, the end result is always the same: you will discover comfort. It is never too late to learn, or to rediscover, anything important.
Now or Never – Is it too late to start yoga?
We’ve already discussed how yoga is suitable for everyone. When it comes to older age groups, however, every activity has specific limits that must be taken into consideration. The age at which you begin exercising is irrelevant; nonetheless, it is always preferable to be prepared than to risk harm, especially when the side effects of aging are having an impact on your physical health. During our interview with Rohit Dulal, a yoga expert and head of the Vinod Dulal Yoga Institute, he addressed all of our questions on yoga for elderly adults.
How does yoga help with aging?
To mention a few difficulties, aging can result in decreased bone density, slower heart rate, diminished eyesight, and digestive disorders, among other things. In this case, yoga can be of assistance. Regular practice might assist you in maintaining your physiological youth. Exercising in asanas can assist you in combating the effects of aging by boosting muscle strength, increasing bone density, and preserving joint flexibility. Some asanas necessitate the use of back bending motions, which might be beneficial in the reconstruction of the spinal column.
- Yoga may benefit your physical well-being by allowing you to build greater strength to sustain your body as you age.
- Some asanas necessitate the use of back bending motions, which might be beneficial in the reconstruction of the spinal column.
- It is beneficial for conditions such as osteoarthritis, which affects the hips, knees, and feet.
- Stretching that is focused on a specific location helps to reduce stiffness and enhance the range of motion in the afflicted area.
- Yoga approaches the body from an all-encompassing perspective, which is unique.
- Asanas have an effect on the nerve system, stimulate a variety of internal systems, help to develop muscle, and help to strengthen bones.
- As a result, yoga may be used to treat a variety of day-to-day issues such as poor digestion, common bodily ailments, and mental illnesses, among others.
- It is essential to recognize and accept your own physical limitations, as well as to approach the exercise with an intention to learn about yourself rather than with an ego-driven desire to achieve a specific degree of physical performance.
It is essential to recognize and accept your own physical limitations, as well as to approach the exercise with an intention to learn about yourself rather than with an ego-driven desire to achieve a specific degree of physical performance. (Image courtesy of Zymrat)
Yoga as a therapy is a genuine thing, and the teachers who specialize in teaching yoga for healing are referred to as yoga therapists. Nowadays, the phrase “medical yoga” has evolved to refer to yoga programs that are taught in medical settings with the goal of healing medical ailments. A certified yoga instructor completes the required foundational education, which prepares them to teach students of various ages and abilities. The advantages of yoga, on the other hand, stay the same. Aging is a normal part of life that we all have to go through at some point.
- As a result, older students should refrain from forcing themselves to proceed through easy asanas, but should rather develop gradually.
- One warning indicator that you should look out for is when teachers teach a blanket yoga sequence to the entire group of registrants.
- In this instance, it is vital to locate your Guru and commit yourself to him or her for a period of one month.
- Because health issues are not taken into consideration, you will be putting your health at danger.
- Yoga as a therapy is a genuine thing, and the teachers who specialize in teaching yoga for healing are referred to as yoga therapists.
- When compared to the general population, yoga practitioners and meditators exhibit a slower drop in Fluid Intelligence.
- Yoga instills a sense of balance, tranquility, and awareness, and it teaches us to accept and deal with the stresses of life in an elegant and effective manner.
- Because there are progressions for every difficulty level, you may start slowly and work your way up to any asana.
- Finding the proper instructor and taking pleasure in the practice can assist you in reaping the many advantages of yoga at any age.
- Check also this related article: From inactive to sporty – Nivas’ remarkable account of how fitness transformed his life
It’s Never Too Late To Start Your Yoga Journey
Yogic therapy is a legitimate treatment option; yoga therapists are instructors who specialize in teaching yoga for healing purposes. Modern-day medical yoga has become synonymous with yoga sessions that are offered in medical settings with the purpose of healing health problems. Untrained yoga instructors must complete the required foundational curriculum before they may begin teaching individuals of all ages. Yoga, on the other hand, continues to provide several advantages. In this life, we all have to go through the process of aging at some point.
- Therefore, senior students should refrain from forcing themselves to perform easy asanas, but should instead proceed progressively through them.
- The teaching of a blanket yoga routine to all guests is one red sign you should avoid if at all possible.
- Then you must seek out your Guru and commit yourself to him or her for a period of at least one month.
- Health issues are not taken into consideration, which puts your health at danger.
- Yogic therapy is a legitimate treatment option; yoga therapists are instructors who specialize in teaching yoga for healing purposes.
- It is the capacity to think creatively and tackle challenges that are novel or different from the norm.
- Even at older ages, when it is recognized that brain function is deteriorating, this will assist you in remaining cognitively active and engaged.
- No of your age, yoga may help you maintain your physical and emotional health.
- Yes, it is never too late to begin practicing yoga, as you stated.
On the website zymrat.com, this article was originally published as an article. Check also this related article: From inactive to sporty – Nivas’ remarkable tale of how fitness transformed his life
Yoga boosts general health
The importance of health cannot be overstated. People who practice yoga poses such as the Warrior pose and the Tree position, among many others, may discover that their need for medical procedures to restore good health lessens. A comprehensive kind of exercise, yoga rejuvenates the mind, the body, and the soul at the same time. When people in Australia practice any kind of yoga that is appropriate for their age and fitness level, they may discover that they have less need to visit their primary care physician for minor problems.
Yoga helps to prevent heart disease
Cardiovascular health concerns, such as heart disease, affect 1.2 million individuals in Australia, according to the Australian Heart Foundation. Heart disease is a source of concern for everyone, and yoga can help to lower the risk. Seniors who want to keep their cardiovascular fitness up may want to consider taking up yoga to keep their hearts healthy and prevent sickness. Elderly people who exercised on a regular basis had less heart-related health issues, according to theCardiovascular Health Study Lighter kinds of physical activity, such as restorative yoga or Yin stretching, have been shown to have significant protective effects.
- The advantages of doing more intense kinds of yoga, such as Vinyasa or Hatha, may be even higher for senior citizens with limited mobility.
- Other age-appropriate classes will be available for seniors, including Chair Yoga, which is ideal for seniors who have lower-body mobility issues, and Kundalini, which can be readily customized to match your specific needs.
- Many seniors will be given the go-ahead to practice yoga on a regular basis.
- Always consult with your family doctor for guidance before beginning any workout program that may feel demanding to you, especially if you have any legitimate concerns about your physical fitness level.
Beginner classes are recommended
Individuals who are new to the practice should look for beginner’s sessions that provide organized coaching and use basic poses. The ability to tone up and practice mindfulness will allow them to improve their overall health as a result of doing so. Teachers at Power Living are well-qualified and dedicated to providing individualized support to newcomers to the country. Beginner lessons are available at Power Living Studios. so that you may get started with your practice and grow it from the bottom up.
As a result, even if you have to make modifications all of the time in the beginning, you will still get the advantages of the exercise.
No problem. For more information, visit yogaholics.com, Power Living’s online studio. Practicing Yoga for Beginnersflow by Duncan Parviainen will ensure that you are well prepared to begin your yoga adventure. I’ll see you on the yoga mat, my friend. Karoline Gore created the piece.
It’s Never Too Late for Yoga: How Seniors Can Start a Yoga and Meditat
Adults tend to slip into the same patterns as they become older and are apprehensive to attempt new things as they mature. It is difficult to venture beyond of one’s comfort zone, especially later in life. Despite their natural apprehensions, an increasing number of older folks are discovering that experimenting with yoga, meditation, and other new workouts may be quite satisfying. Performing these hobbies can help you reduce stress, enhance your health, and feel better in general as you become older.
We typically think of retirement as a time to relax, but in reality, it is the ideal moment to experiment with innovative approaches to health-care provision and management.
Yoga is one of the most accessible methods of doing so.
Some of the advantages of yoga are as follows:
- Lowered levels of stress, lower levels of hypertension, stronger bones, better sleep, protection against carpal tunnel and arthritis, improved balance, and a reduced chance of falling are all benefits of exercising. Defend yourself against sadness and anxiety.
Where Can I Practice Yoga? Yoga is a simple practice that requires only a few basic items of equipment. It is essential to have a yoga mat and appropriate attire for this practice, however some individuals like to integrate yoga blocks and bolsters into their practice. Given that a yoga set-up is rather simple, you may practice yoga in your own home (or assist an elderly loved one with their practice, if you’re a carer) without any additional equipment. Some fundamental positions, like as those recommended by AARP, may be found on the internet, which is a terrific resource.
- Attending a yoga class is also a terrific opportunity to meet new people and develop a sense of belonging in a supportive environment.
- It’s recommended that you start with a mild yoga practice if you’re new to exercising or have any health issues.
- Additionally, there are adaptable versions of yoga, such as chair yoga, that are suitable for those who have mobility limitations.
- Never force yourself to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or damages your feelings.
- Most yoga courses conclude with a period of relaxation, and the whole process of practicing yoga is contemplative due to the emphasis placed on conscious breathing during the session.
- Meditating can assist elders by reducing the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease, increasing digestion, sharpening your intellect and memory, and making you feel more tranquil, according to Mindworks, a mindfulness meditation software.
- When it comes to learning how to meditate, these beginner’s meditation videos from Yoga Journal are a great place to start.
What other activities may seniors participate in to maintain their health and well-being?
While participating in a workout class is beneficial for building a feeling of community, getting out of the house is not always possible, and these technology-based alternatives may be just as involved.
Despite the fact that some people instantly identify yoga and meditation with something that younger people undertake, these ancient techniques are truly beneficial at every stage of life.
Once you get into the habit of practicing yoga, you’ll undoubtedly start to question where all of your life has gone wrong!
Author A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management is being written by Harry Cline, who is the founder of NewCaregiver.org and the author of the future book.
As a former nursing facility administrator, father of three children, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry understands how difficult and gratifying the job of caring can be both.
He also realizes that caregiving may be daunting, especially for those who are just getting started. He set up his website and is currently working on a new book to provide assistance and support to new carers all around the world. Yoga for the elderly
You’re Never Too Old
Yoga on July 2nd and August 16th, 2015 Candice McClung, a private yoga student of mine, recently appeared on The Yoga Room, a prominent Facebook forum for yoga fans, where I shared a few images of her. I anticipated that her One-legged Down Dog, Bridge Pose, and Side Plank would garner a lot of attention. I was right. Why? Because this yogini recently celebrated her 90th birthday, which occurred just a few months ago. What I wasn’t expecting was the huge response; within a few hours, the post had about 400 likes and approximately 40 comments, many of which expressed how inspiring it was to witness her strength and flexibility.
The number of people who have told me they would want to practice yoga but are unable because of their age is impossible to count. Most of the time, they’re lot younger than Candice. That excuse, it appears, has been tossed to the side. Yoga is accessible to people of all ages and abilities, regardless of their physical or mental abilities. It’s called a yoga practice for a reason; it takes time and effort to become proficient. Candice has been in the profession for ten years. She began as an 80-year-old adolescent.
If you have physical restrictions as a result of previous injuries, illnesses such as arthritis that limit range of motion, or other factors, you should consult with a doctor.
One-Legged Down Dog
As we get older, we experience a loss in muscular density, bone density, flexibility, balance, and core strength, among other things. Yoga can assist to slow down all of these effects of aging, as well as improve total range of motion and stability, and hence improve overall quality of life for the practitioner. If you’re just getting started with your yoga practice, be kind with yourself. Don’t force yourself into a position that makes you feel uncomfortable or unpleasant.
Including yoga in your daily routine provides several health advantages that are related with living a long and healthy life, including the following:
- Enhances respiratory function by improving balance and core strength, increasing flexibility and range of motion, and alleviating arthritic and joint discomfort. It also helps diabetics maintain better control over their blood sugar levels.
I could recite more scientifically proven benefits, but I think the photos of Candice are proof enough that yoga, along with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle in general, is a holistic approach to staying strong and active throughout your life and well into your senior years.
Take a look at the video below. To be completely honest, I was astounded as well! After reading about this remarkable woman, I knew it was important for me to share her story with you – because, if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this post, it’s this. That you are never ‘too old’ to engage in physical activity. Ever. The traditional image that comes to mind when we think of a Yoga instructor is that of someone who is youthful, flexible, and contemporary. However, Lil Hansen, a 105-year-old woman, defies all stereotypes about her age.
- ), while instructing a monthly Yoga session at her local senior center.
- Lil attributes her long life to her frequent Yoga practice, which she considers to be one of the primary causes for her longevity.
- Seeing this tale made me think of one of our patients, Sharon, who I had forgotten about.
- Allow me to tell you her tale.
- It had been roughly four years since Sharon had mentioned this.
- She had to walk on a treadmill for one of the tests.
- Sharon has always placed a high emphasis on physical activity, and I am confident that her consistent, long-term fitness regimen has helped to moderate her deterioration and keep her in excellent health.
- So, what am I trying to say with these two accounts of these remarkable ladies, exactly?
- Even the smallest bit of physical activity reaps significant benefits.
So even if the notion of exercising makes your toes curl, remember that it doesn’t take much exercise (or even breaking a sweat) to get the benefits of physical activity. Let’s take a look at just a few of the advantages:.
- Exercise helps maintain the health of aging bodies by improving blood flow to the brain, which transports additional oxygen and nutrients that keep you alert and feeling wonderful
- It also helps you lose weight.
- It also helps to keep your blood pressure and blood sugar levels stable, reducing the likelihood of any vascular issues developing in the future.
- Exercise can also help to reduce the risk of dementia by maintaining the portion of the brain that is responsible for memory formation and storage at a healthy size and working as it should.
Inevitably, the body ages as we get older, and it’s inevitable that we’ll reach our physical limits. However, if you’re thinking about starting an exercise program now, it’s always advisable to start lightly and work your way up to something, even if it’s only a 10 minute easy stroll. Remember that exercise does not have to be associated with going to the gym, and that it does not have to be associated with stepping foot in a gym to be effective or beneficial. Returning to Sharon, exercising hasn’t always included going to the gym.
- So don’t allow the term “exercise” deter you from getting started.
- A quiet walk in the park, gardening, walking the dog, playing with the grandchildren, or enrolling in a Yoga class are all possibilities.
- The goal is to discover something that you ENJOY doing in order to make exercise and brief bursts of everyday activity more realistic and attainable for you to do.
- Click here to arrange a Complimentary Fitness Consultation with a fitness professional to learn how to incorporate exercise into your daily routine and feel amazing no matter what age you are.
Tortoise (Kurmasana) – How to do and benefits
Why you’re never too old to pursue a yoga teacher certification The reason I decided to participate in my 200-hour yoga teacher training at the age of 52 was because I knew how many young people, primarily females, had expressed an interest in the practice, and I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep up or form a relationship with the group. Fortunately for me, I persisted and developed my own methods of engaging with my other classmates. Yes, the most of them were in their 20s and at the beginning of their adult life, but there was a sprinkling of ladies at the other end of the trip, and I ended up making a very deep spiritual link with someone in her sixties as a result of our shared experience.
- Age was mostly unimportant while you were experiencing such intensive training; it’s about who you are below the physical that mattered most, and those young ladies linked with me as people, not just as an accumulation of years on their bodies.
- What was the source of my discovery?
- Would she be able to blend in?
- Yes, the majority of the students on theyoga teacher training courses are young, but you will encounter a group of elderly people with whom you will most likely wind up hanging out.
- If there’s one thing the courses teach you, it’s that we are all connected by our shared humanity.
- In general, I found that my age was a strength rather than a drawback for me.
- A yoga teacher training course may result in a significant emotional rebirth, and you will be in the greatest position to deal with it if you are prepared.
Although I do not believe that every older person is peaceful and mature or that every younger person is an emotional disaster, I believe that we can each provide stability and serenity to the other from either end of the life spectrum, regardless of age.
If you have an emotional outburst during your YTT, it does not exclude you from allowing yourself to express yourself; but, because the primary aim of a YTT is the revelation of your own real nature, you may be further along in that path than someone in their 20s.
If you think back to when you were in your twenties, you’ll recall that your body was perhaps more flexible and had greater stamina than it is today.
It doesn’t matter what you look like — what matters is that you are aware of yourself.
You may not be surprised by this if, like me, you’ve already adapted your practice to accommodate your unique physical characteristics.
While you may have allowed negative thoughts about your body to infiltrate your practice because it appears to be preventing you from participating in certain asanas as you grow older, the training will liberate you from these thoughts and allow you to appreciate everything your body is capable of in a much more positive way.
Numerous younger kids were perplexed as to why they were there and desired to employ the day for studying or focusing on their test flow rather than participating.
In the end, it turned out to be the most significant day of the entire YTT for me and the other older people on the course — you can read about my full experience here.
When I realized this, it didn’t matter how much time we put into our final examinations, how well we knew all of the Sanskrit names for every asana off by heart, or how well we knew how to correct a student in downward dog; what mattered most as yoga teachers was getting to know ourselves.
If you’re in the middle of your life right now, don’t allow your age prevent you from giving yourself the great gift of yoga teacher certification. There is still time for you to make positive changes in your life.
START YOUR TEACHER TRAINING JOURNEY!
The Yoga Alliance USA has recognized Sampoorna Yoga’s Teacher Training Courses as legitimate. When you complete your studies at our school, you will be entitled to register with Yoga Alliance as a RYT, or Registered Yoga Teacher, in the categories that apply to you. a link to the page’s load
Too Old For Yoga? Surprise Yourself With This Sequence!
The class was in the midst of laying up our mats for the Asanas, Pranayama, and Meditation session when a silver-haired, beautiful woman entered the room. The APM class, as we like to refer to it, is a very mild yoga practice that lasts around one hour. “Is it acceptable if I sit here and observe the practice?” she said of our teacher, who responded with a tense expression. After waiting for us to finish rolling up our mats and leaving the hall for the day, she sat there for another 60 minutes.
- She inquired about my practice and the length of time I had been engaged in it.
- It was her neck, back, and knees that she complained of being in agony, she explained.
- She had attempted yoga in a different location, and her issues had become worse.
- I was not persuaded in the least.
An Eagle-Eyed Approach To Seniors’ Yoga
Image courtesy of Flickr user Fort George G. Meade. Many seniors look forward to embracing yoga in their lives more and more as the tantalizing health advantages it provides become more apparent, but many have a negative experience when they do. What is the reason behind this? One of the primary reasons is the use of a poorly chosen style in everyday life. Many individuals believe that doing yoga is relatively straightforward and begin practicing without being aware of the alignment and other features of the various asanas (yoga positions).
You should only make sure that you are picking easy positions that allow you to stretch while also relieving your discomfort.
Simple stretches for your neck, head, limbs, and back may be included in daily routine.
I’ve put together a collection of positions that they use on a daily basis and that they believe to be pretty successful.
Along with alleviating their discomfort, individuals report that it helps them sleep better and remain calm and clear-headed. Always keep your safety in mind when performing these postures, and utilize props and modifications as needed to accommodate your specific body type.
Quick And Easy Yoga Sequence For Seniors
The Mountain Pose (Tdsana) is the first pose. Although this stance appears to be straightforward, it serves as the foundation for all other asanas. When you first begin your yoga practice, it is important to connect with your breath in a calm and loving manner. Standing tall with your feet slightly parted and your eyes closed is the best position. Allow your hands to rest down your sides, with your index and middle fingers pointing to the ground. On an inhalation, sweep your hands above your head and extend yourself as if you were trying to reach for the ceiling without applying too much strain.
- 2.Vrksana– Modified Tree Pose (Vrksasana) The tree position enhances your balance, which may help you avoid falling.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Maintain your balance on a stable surface, and if you are comfortable doing so, connect your hands together at your heart center in prayer and balance for as long as you can.
- Repeat the process with the opposite leg.
- 3.Uttanasana – Forward Bend While Standing With this position, you may improve the quality of your digestion while also increasing the circulation to your upper body.
- It is a wonderfully calming pose.
- Relax your torso by lengthening it.
If you’re feeling particularly stiff, set a stool in front of you and lay your palms on the top of it to relieve the tension.
Maintain the posture for a total of ten deep breaths while taking deep, long breaths.
Fourth pose (Virabhadrasana II) – Warrior II This position is beneficial to your bones since it increases the density of your bones.
Place your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
Make a 90-degree angle with your left foot and turn it towards the left.
On an exhale, slowly bend your left leg, letting your thigh to approach parallel to the floor, while keeping your right leg straight (see illustration).
Afterwards, do the same thing with the opposite leg.
The Bridge Posestrengthens the lower back and hips, which helps to avoid hip fractures and sciatica from occurring.
Place your arms along the sides of your body.
Suck in your stomach a little, tilt your pelvis, and elevate your spine as high off the floor as you possibly can.
Shoulder supports can be made out of folded blankets, or a bolster can be placed under your lower back if you wish to stay in the position for an extended period of time.
Cobra Pose is a fantastic back strengthener and spine aligner that can be done anywhere.
Place your hands along the sides of your chest, just below your shoulders.
Lay down on the floor and let your lower abdomen to rest there.
Maintain a bent position at the elbows. Put the back of your head against the wall and concentrate your attention on the ceiling. Hold the stance for as long as you are able while taking deep breaths. Take a deep breath and gently return to the starting posture.
Prānāyāma Exercise: Abdominal Breathing
Photograph courtesy of Daku Resort Savusavu Fijivia Flickr. Relaxing your autonomous nervous system with conscious belly breathing is beneficial. Spread your legs out flat on the floor, keeping the knees bent so that your foot sits firmly on the floor. Maintain a comfortable distance between your legs and hip-width between them. Placing your right palm on your tummy and your left palm on your chest can help you relax. Bring your stomach up to its fullest capacity by breathing in through your nose.
Maintain a low level of activity in your chest while concentrating solely on your abdomen.
By The Way…
Finally, I was able to persuade that woman to join our yoga class, and now she can always be found smiling on her yoga mat. It has been six months, and every time we see one other, she says a short hello and thank you. What is it that is keeping you from achieving your goals? Please don’t be intimidated to try out a couple of these positions or to make an introduction at your local yoga studio. It’s never too late to make a change!