Bodies need to keep moving and stay fit, regardless of age. However, as we age, exercise can have new challenges and that means favorite fitness regimes may no longer be suitable.
Yoga is often recommended as a gentle workout that is acceptable for all bodies, ages and abilities, but when you see people twisting themselves like pretzels, it can be a little scary to consider.
No Guru Needed
According to the Yoga Alliance, as of 2012, there were over 36 million people in the United States practicing yoga with an estimated 80 million more likely to try yoga in 2016. By age groups, 38 percent of those doing yoga are people age 50 and up.
For the millions of people interested, there are many different types of yoga to try—some are quite intense and classes might be held in a heated room, while others are very gentle and involve lying on a floor and stretching across a large pillow. There are adaptive classes where classic yoga poses are done on a chair and there are some classes that require a partner to assist.
Sorting through the more than 100 types of yoga taught today is daunting, so it’s best to start with the basics. Typically a Hatha-style class will be taught at a slower pace. Restorative yoga is another mellow type of yoga that does not require any knowledge of yoga poses.
The key is to not overdo it in yoga and stick with it over time to experience the effects.
If you’ve signed up for Restorative yoga or another gentle style, you might be wondering how this is considered working out—especially if you remain lying down or sitting in a chair the whole time! There have been many studies on the emotional, mental and physical benefits of practicing yoga. Possible health benefits to regularly practicing yoga may include:
- Stress reduction
- Improved mobility
- Better balance
- More range of motion
- Building muscular strength
In addition, there is a social component to joining a class or going with a friend that be good for you too.
If you’re curious what the hype is about and if you could benefit from this ancient practice, you can find a yoga class near you through http://www.yogafinder.com/.