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Which Is the Best Way to do Yoga Once You Reach a Certain Age?

By Yann, published on 12/02/2019 We Love Prof > Health and Fitness > Yoga > What Is Senior Yoga?

“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.” – Luis Bunuel

Yoga is an activity that many people are familiar with and that many people practise, regardless of their age. In fact, whether you’re doing a sun salutation, mindfulness meditation, or twisting, we can work on our body, mind, and spirit whether we’re 7 or 77. However, age does play a role in your ability to let go and the effectiveness of certain yoga poses. This is more than just thinking positively!

So at what age are you considered a senior?

In the world of sport, you can very quickly be considered a senior. In athletics, a senior can be in their early 20s! Of course, it’s all relative. When it comes to stretches, alignment, and warming up, everyone can do it as long as they adapt it to their age.

In this article, we’re going to look at older people can still attend a yoga class, do yoga postures, and enjoy the restorative benefits of yoga well into their twilight years.

What Is a Senior When it Comes to Yoga?

Whatever discipline you practise, be it yoga or otherwise, there is an age when you’ll be considered a senior. This is the age when you’ll need to adapt certain exercises to match your age and your fitness. However, this is a generalisation as there are some people of a certain age who’ll be fitter and more capable than their younger counterparts.

How can you do yoga in old age? Age is just a number, after all. That said, there are things that are easier to do when you’re younger. (Source: aunhtet0)

Of course, not every yoga posture is the same and time takes its toll on parts of your body such as your spine, hips, knees and problems like arthritis can make it seem that the yoga practice has an age limit.

There are specialised yoga courses for senior citizens since most people of a similar age will have a similar level when it comes to doing sporting activities such as yoga. For the purpose of this article, we’ll consider a senior to be someone who’s approaching retirement whose physical prowess isn’t what it once was during their younger years.

When it comes to breathing techniques, alignment, muscle toning, improving flexibility, and managing stress, there are certain considerations that need to be made for older yogis. You can’t do all of the above with the same intensity as you would with a group of 20-somethings. However, there’s nothing that can’t be altered to work for older participants. You just need to modify the energy and intensity of the courses.

If you’re pregnant, you’ll probably want to consider prenatal yoga, a type of gentle yoga that women in the first or second trimester of pregnancy can do.

Yoga for Seniors: Adapt Your Objectives

Yoga is a great discipline but you need to manage your goals and adapt them to your own capabilities. There are plenty of reasons and goals for doing yoga:

  • Relax
  • Exercise
  • Meet new people
  • Understand a new way of life
  • Change how you eat and exercise
  • Harmonise your mind, body, and spirit
  • Start meditating
  • Learn to control your breathing
  • And many others!

What sports can senior citizens do? Once you reach a certain age, you’ll have to change how you do sport. (Source: HoliHo)

Thus, there are plenty of reasons for seniors to start doing yoga. Throughout your life, these goals and reasons will change and there’s nothing wrong with deciding to start doing yoga later on in your life.

Don’t forget that those with physical disabilities can also do yoga!

Adapting Yoga to Seniors

Whether you’re 50 or 100, as we age, our bodies become less responsive and it’s more difficult to certain things once you reach a certain age. This isn’t necessarily a problem. However, you do need to take this into account in order to enjoy all the benefits of yoga and do your breathing exercises or poses like the sun salutation.

What is yoga for seniors? There’s no age limit when it comes to being active. (Source: Ellen26)

As you get older, you’ll need to consider attending yoga classes that are adapted to your age and your fitness rather than practising on your own as you run the risk of injuring yourself. The idea is to harmonise your body, mind, and spirit regardless of your age. After all, yoga is a way of life that’s open to everyone!

There are a number of different types of yoga which are good for older yogis:

  • Nidra yoga which can help those who struggle to sleep manage their concerns.
  • Yoga for back pain.
  • Laughter yoga, a type of yoga that’s aimed at those who are feeling sad and only, something which can happen as we get older and approach retirement.

These aren’t the only examples but they do show that regardless of your age, you can still do yoga. You just need to listen to your body and find out which type of yoga is best for you.

Find out more about yoga for couples.

Yoga Poses that Older Yogis Should Avoid

As you’ll have understood, there’s nothing that you can’t do once you reach a certain age as long as you adapt it to your own fitness levels. Of course, some exercises or poses in their purest forms may be too complicated for ageing bodies to do. This is why a specialised yoga instructor or tutor can help you adapt these poses for older yogis.

What's the oldest age at which you can do yoga? Even into old age, you can still keep pushing yourself physically. (Source: qimono)

There are certain poses that aren’t recommended after you reach a certain age. For example, a lot of the twisting poses, as well as those that require high levels of balance, may not be suitable. Generally, a lot of yoga sessions for seniors include poses where you’re lying down or seated.

Since your range of motion probably won’t be what it once was, your yoga therapy may focus on trying to strengthen certain parts of your body or just focusing on the calm and relaxing aspects of yoga.

Of course, if you practise yoga, you’ll want all the benefits of doing so. However, you’ll also need to pay attention to your health! Yoga’s a great way to improve your wellbeing, refocus, and relax.

So are you ready to give it a try?

There’s no age limit when it comes to feeling good.

Choosing a Yoga Instructor for Seniors

Your yoga instructor or tutor is there to support you, guide you, and help you to get better at yoga whether you’re in a private class or a group class. Regardless of your age, everyone’s body is different and this will define how you do yoga. With poses, harmonising your body, mind, and spirit, and meditation, there are plenty of things that you need them to teach you.

As a yoga teacher, your instructor needs to adapt their sessions to their students. This is why there are certain yoga instructors who only teach seniors and specialise in doing so. They’re aware of exactly what the older generation is capable of. It’s not about doing impressive yoga poses but rather finding a tutor who knows exactly what can do.

Thus, whether you’re 65 or 80, anyone can learn to do yoga and get better at it. This is where your yoga instructor comes into it as they’ll be able to manage your expectations and help beginners become experts over time. There’s nothing better than a good teacher to help you get better at something.

Yoga is a physical activity that can be adapted to anyone. It’s also a way of life that anyone can adopt. You just need to know how to adapt it to each person according to their abilities, goals, and desires. You can become an expert in relaxation and listening to your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is an art, after all.

With so many types of yoga including hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, restorative yoga, Ashtanga yoga, power yoga, etc., nobody has an excuse for not attending a beginner yoga class and learning their first asana (pose) or improving their awareness of their body and mind.

If you’re looking for private yoga teachers, you should consider checking out the tutors on Superprof. Whether you need a routine tailored to you, want to feel more relaxed and mindful, or start stretching and healing, you can find specialists in yoga for beginners, seniors, those with physical disabilities, and pregnant women.

You can get one-on-one tutors, online tutors, or tutors offering group sessions of yoga. Online tutors tend to be cheaper as they have fewer outgoings but having a tutor there in-person is usually a better idea to ensure that you’re not doing any of the poses wrong.

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