Yoga Over 50! Here are 10 Reasons to Start Now
Yoga is one of the very best ways of improving your overall health and fitness. Looking at the magazine shelves in the supermarket you’d think that yoga was uniquely for the young, thin and super bendy, oh….. and I forgot to add – insanely good looking!
None of that is true, yoga IS for everyone!
If you’re one of those people who’s always been a bit intrigued to know what it’s all about or tempted to give it a go, here are the best 10 reasons why you should dig out a t-shirt and a pair of shorts or stretchy leggings now
If practised regularly yoga can:
Increase your strength Think of all of your daily activities that involve rising from sitting to standing, climbing stairs (or mountains), lifting shopping or robust grandchildren or pushing trolleys or wheelbarrows. Yoga helps to keep bones and muscles strong.
Improve your flexibility Ever noticed how well you can see behind you when reversing the car? Does your neck feel a bit tight or stiff? Maintaining the elasticity and fluidity of our bodies becomes a little more challenging as we get older. Regular stretching of our muscles and connective tissues can help us regain lost flexibility and ease of movement.
Maintain and improve your balance
Balance is one of the first things that we tend to lose as we move into later life and loss of balance is a major cause of accidents and hospitalisations. With balance it really is a case of ‘use it or lose it’. Yoga not only increases your stability by strengthening the muscles of the legs, the back and the core, but it can make you more aware of your surroundings. This means you’re less likely to trip in the first place and you can maybe recover your balance before any real damage is done.
Become more agile The dictionary defines agility as the ability to move quickly and easily. Looking around it’s easy to spot people who are slowing down. Yoga helps us keep a lightness and a sense of freedom in our bodies. By improving the link between the messages from the brain to the body we can stay or become more coordinated and therefore more agile and youthful.
Improve concentration and focus By learning how to reduce the volume of constant chit chat and negative self-talk in our minds we can concentrate more easily on the task in front of us and focus on the present moment instead of what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.
Reduce stress and anxiety
For the same reason, the mindfulness aspects of yoga can reduce those thoughts of ‘I should have done that……’ or ‘what will happen if …….’ Yoga helps us to find an inner peace and helps us to navigate the ups and downs of daily life.
Relieve aches and pains Rickety knees, an aching back, a stiff neck….. yep, at some point I’ve had them all! Now I know that particular exercises or yoga stretches can help to relieve these niggling aches and pains by keeping me supple and strong. Yoga can help target the misalignments in the body that contribute to tightness and stiffness. It can strengthen supporting muscles such as the abdominals and the spinal muscles, it can improve posture and enhance breathing, and it can feel fantastic!
Feel more energetic Who doesn’t want to feel more energetic? Movement increases circulation in the body, the regular stretching and contracting of muscles increases the body’s ability to pump blood to the vital organs, including the heart and is thought to stimulate the endocrine system which also keeps us active and energised.
Make new friends If you’re looking to meet new people then a yoga class is a great way to start. Chatting before and after the class, sharing a laugh, planning lunches or getaways. Realising that it’s not that difficult, motivating and inspiring each other! Yoga offers a sense of community, a feeling of being part of a big family. Every town, every village has a yoga class somewhere so it’s easy to meet people and have something in common, wherever you are.
and most importantly………
To enjoy something new! Wouldn’t life be boring if we just did the same old thing all the time. Your relationship with your body and mind is evolving all the time. It becomes even more interesting in later life. By keeping the mind open to new things, approaching change with curiosity instead of fear, living in the present instead of worrying about the future, we can learn to appreciate our wonderful bodies, work to fix the problems and step out with confidence, energy and strength.
What are you waiting for?
You have everything to gain and nothing to lose!