I am 72 years old and I am still working full time – not feeling anywhere near retirement age! I am convinced that everybody can live a healthy life up to a very old age and one of the secrets might be to keep busy, interested and flexible in your thoughts and in your body. One way of doing this is to start with yoga, irrespective of your age and condition. I hope the article below will help you and get a new perspective on “old age”.
YOGA AND AGE – CAN YOU YOU STILL BEGIN WITH YOGA?
A lot of people I know always say “now it is too late” to do this or that. “ I am too old”. But is it really a matter of age? Or is it a misconception of the task you want to tackle? Or is it just laziness?
Unlike other sports, you can definitely start yoga at all ages. It is not a sport where you will need a lot of strength, fitness and time and you will only do any yoga postures to an extent where your body feels comfortable.
HOW CAN I START SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW AT MY AGE?
Forget about your age. Rely on your instincts and when you want to do something new, just go for it! Do not listen to others who have tried and failed! Each new experience starts with the first step and this step will be to look for yoga classes near you.
WHERE CAN I FIND A CLASS WHERE I WILL NOT FEEL TOO OLD?
In my experience, yoga classes have always a decent variety of people of all ages, men and women, although it seems that the percentage of women does far outweigh the men. Yoga classes are very popular and you should find one in your neighbourhood easily. Ask family and friends, check the internet and you will find lots of offers.
I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO COMMIT TO REGULAR CLASSES
Not only do you think yoga and age does not go together, you also are too busy? Even when you are working full time or looking after your grandchildren, you will have time to attend once a week to a yoga class and when you stick to it for a couple of weeks you will feel the benefits. You will not give up easily as you feel more confidence, more strength, you will be in a better mood and there a many more benefits to experience.
SOME BENEFITS OF YOGA AND AGE
At a certain age, you will feel to lose a bit of flexibility, strength and body confidence. All this can come back with regular yoga exercises.
From increased flexibility to creating happiness, I will show you the benefits to rolling out the mat.
Improved flexibility is one of the most remarkable benefits of yoga. At your first class you might not be able to stand up and touch your toes with straight legs. But eventually by practicing and breathing you will realize that this becomes possible. You might also feel that tensions in your body disappear and aches and pains get less.
Strong muscles protect us from conditions like arthritis and back pain and help prevent falls in elderly people. And when you build strength through yoga you will at the same time loosen tight muscles through flexibility.
Poor posture can cause all kind of problems, back, neck, spine, muscle and joint aches. So practicing yoga can prevent all this before it becomes a problem when you get older.
Blood flow increase
Yoga gets your blood flowing. Relaxation exercises can help your blood circulation, especially in your hands and feet. Yoga also oxygenates your body cells which makes them function at a better level. Twisting poses bring oxygenated blood to all internal organs. Inverted poses let blood flow from the lower body to the heart and then to the lungs where they will get new oxygen. This can help if you have swelling in your legs from heart or kidney problems. Yoga also boosts levels of hemoglobin and red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. Yoga can thin the blood and so prevent heart diseases.
If you feel down try to take the Lotus seat and relax. Yoga can significantly increase serotonin (happy chemical) levels and boost the immune system.
Yoga can help change your life – regular exercise is proven to help you developing healthier eating habits, move more and generally get a better grip on your life which as a result will give you inner strength to cope more adequately with all problems thrown in your way.
By practicing yoga you will move more and burn more calories which inevitably will result in losing weight. The spiritual and emotional experiences during your yoga sessions will bring you to reflect on all aspects of your life and find ways to resolve weight problems in an easy and natural way.
Many problems like ulcers or constipation have their origin in high stress levels in the body. With a regular yoga session you can counteract these symptoms because by moving your body in different ways from your normal life the transport of blood and waster products is encouraged. You will feel this effect already after a few sessions.
A lot of people start practicing yoga in order to cope with feelings of anxiety. There a quite a few researches into this field and the results show that a regular practise can lessen the symptoms of anxiety or even get rid of them at all. Through concentration and observing your body and deep controlled breathing you can reach a state of clearness and confidence which does no longer sustain frightful feelings and thoughts.
Yoga can be practiced and started at any age – so yoga and age is not an issue at all! Roll out your mat!
I would love to hear from you – tell me how you get along and especially if you have started with yoga and feel some progress. Feel free to leave any comments or questions – I will come back to you.