Yoga can help those who practice with a wide variety of problems – from anxiety and pain to digestion and diabetes. It can help make you calm, flexible, and healthy. According to Livestrong, “Participants in a medical study in India saw their blood pressure decrease during three months of yoga.”
But it can be extremely intimidating! Especially if you’re at retirement age and have never practiced it before. The good news is that anyone can do yoga, and it’s never too late to try. You may just need to adapt your workout in order to not push the limits of what your body can do.
Everyone’s level of physical activity is different. If you’re active, you may consider yoga to be quite easy. If you aren’t used to working out, it might feel extremely difficult at first. No matter what you think you are capable of, start off small. This may mean doing yoga for a shorter amount of time at the beginning or skipping moves that are too difficult for you.
Here are some simple poses from AARP that can help you get started on your own. Sherwood Oaks also has yoga classes that are exclusive to residents and perfect for everyone, whether they consider themselves an athlete or a newbie! Classes are offered weekly and are taught by our Fitness Director, a certified yoga instructor. Not only can you consider this a healthy habit, but it’s also a social gathering! We get a great turnout from residents each week.
If you want to get a taste for yoga before you come to a class, you can check out some YouTube videos to try out on your own. Like this one, which shows you some yoga stretches specifically tailored to seniors.
You won’t be able to keep up with everyone – and that’s ok! Remember as you start out that no matter how good you are at something, someone out there is better.
You need to learn the moves that work best for you. This could mean that you choose to do the adapted moves that your instructor gives you. If a pose is difficult for you and your instructor does not give you an adapted pose, go ahead and ask! Your body will thank you for not pushing it too hard.
If you’re practicing yoga on your own, do a simple search for yoga poses that may help your specific ailments. For instance, here are some simple yoga poses that have been shown to provide menopause relief.
Work Your Mind, Too
A lot of yoga focuses more on your breath than the movement of your body. Don’t ignore the part of yoga that explains how to breathe – it is just as important as every stretch! When done correctly, your breath can help you keep up your stamina and promote calm and concentration.
It might be difficult, but don’t give up. Like many kinds of workouts, you will get better the longer you stick with your yoga routine. Each week, you will be a little bit more flexible and a little bit more comfortable with your surroundings.
Have you been a longtime yogi? What are your best tips for beginners?