Contrary to popular belief, doing yoga doesn’t always require twisting yourself into a pretzel while standing on your head. You’ve heard about the wonderful benefits of yoga for seniors, but you might be concerned about the risks.
If you’re over 60, the mere thought of starting a new yoga practice can be a little daunting. Online videos and DVDs usually feature lots of pretty, athletic looking women who look incredible in their yoga pants.
You might be thinking… “There’s no way my knees can handle THAT!”
They make everything look so effortless and easy because they’re young and have been practicing forever.
How the heck are you supposed to start now, when your bones are creaky and your body doesn’t always behave the way you want it to?
Plus, the thought of squeezing into yoga pants and a sports bra might not make starting a practice seem very enticing.
The truth is that most yoga studios have classes for people of all ages and activity levels, and nobody cares how you look in your yoga gear, believe me. – They’re all too worried about how they look in THEIR yoga gear.
Pretzel shapes and headstands are also not required.
The most beautiful thing about yoga is that ANYONE of any age and experience level can do it. The key is to make your practice just that – YOURS.
If you’ve taken the plunge and decided to start a practice, kudos to you! You’re going to love the way you feel after you’ve been doing it for a while.
Here are some tips to start your new yoga practice safely and to help you stick with it.
Top 5 Yoga Tips for Women Over 60
It’s How You Do It, Not How Much or How Often
Exercise is important at any age because it keeps us fit and healthy. Yoga can help us do that, but it doesn’t have to be about how often you go or if your heels touch the mat during Downward Dog.
Many of us have spent years in torturously high heels, shortening our calf muscles to the point that it’s a surprise when our heels touch the ground when we’re simply walking! Sometimes they never quite get there, no matter how long we practice.
The true benefits of yoga lie in connecting with ourselves on many levels, not just the physical. We can bring mindfulness and present moment into our practice.
The quality of time we spend on the mat is way more important than how much time, or how long we hold a pose.
Bringing awareness to the tightness in a muscle while we stretch and exploring why we might be holding tension there, can have a lot to do with how our practice evolves.
Start your new yoga routine with the intention that it’s going to enhance your life in every way.
If you’re looking for that something to shake up your at-home workouts, you’ll love our new Yoga Poses for Beginners Workout Poster! It also comes with a FREE yoga strap to help you work on balance and flexibility.
This is a GREAT option for beginners because it allows you to work on all kinds of different poses at your own pace and the free yoga strap can help you modify poses as you practice.
You also don’t have to look down at a screen or small photos to see what you are doing. You can hang it up in your workout room, home office, garage, or wherever it is that you love to practice!
Our Yoga Poses for Beginners Poster also has the poses organized by muscle groups so that you can work on different parts of the body on different days. The actual muscles being exercised are also highlighted on the images, and you can see exactly how to use the yoga strap on certain poses.
This poster is also front-laminated, so you don’t have to worry about tearing it, getting it dirty, etc. It’s made to last!
Click here to see our Yoga Poses for Beginners Workout Poster!
Find the Right Studio and Teacher
You can’t walk through Whole Foods without running into at least one yoga teacher in every aisle. There are almost as many types of yoga classes to choose from!
Most yoga studios offer gentle yoga and senior classes. They’re usually taught by instructors that have experience with people who have special physical needs or seniors.
If you’re in great shape and you feel like you can do a regular yoga class, then go for it! It might be helpful, though, to start with a class that’s geared toward seniors, then as you get comfortable, move into a regular class.
Many seniors should take extra precautions because of issues like decreased bone density, balance problems, high blood pressure, low flexibility, and poor circulation.
They often use props like blocks, straps, and pillows to help an otherwise inflexible limb get where it needs to go.
Go Easy on Yourself
It’s a fact that when we get older, our bodies don’t bounce back like they used to. It’s also human nature to get super excited about starting something new and going at it with serious gusto.
We often end up regretting this when we realized that we jumped in too quickly.
When we get older, our bodies need a lot more love than they used to. We aren’t as stretchy and bendy as when we were younger.
We also tend to lose muscle strength, bone density, and the ability to regenerate tissue quickly. If we get injured, we go down for the count much longer.
Don’t sabotage your new practice by going too hard, too fast, too quickly.
Give your body time to get comfortable with the basic poses and to build up strength in muscles you probably haven’t used in a long time.
Take it easy and go at your own pace.
Practice with a Smile
It can be hard to learn something new, and most of the time when we are doing a new type of exercise, we strain, groan, and grimace.
Put a smile on our face if it’s the last thing you do.
Getting your yoga on doesn’t mean you need to be serious. In fact, a great way to gauge if you’re overdoing it physically is if you can’t smile while you’re in a pose.
Yoga isn’t about worrying how you look or if you’re doing the poses right; it’s about letting go and being in the present moment. It can also be about having some fun if you let it.
Learning how to do yoga can be pretty funny. Sometimes you fall or catch yourself in a ridiculous position in the mirror, or someone accidentally passes gas.