You can still reap the benefits of a Yoga practice after turning 50 years young. You can even start a Yoga practice in your40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
Perhaps you think you’re at an age where beginning a new form of exercise sounds daunting or even impossible. Surely you have seen photos or footage of older generations performing Qi Gong, Tai Chi and even Yoga… so that should give you some indication as to the ability (or lack of) that is required for such gentle, yet beneficial, exercises like Yoga etc.
By now you’ve probably already started noticing bodily changes occurring within you. How challenging have stairs become for you? Bending down to tie shoelaces? Opening your own jars? Even digestion & metabolism have most likely changed dramatically. Am I right?
Wouldn’t you prefer to age in a manner that allows you freedom to still do what you have been able to in the past. Albeit perhaps a little slower, but still able nonetheless.
When it comes to Yoga, you’re not expected to be doing headstands and resting your head on your knees – ever. What Yoga offers is the chance to improve on yourself. Improve on your previous self. You’re not competing against anyone and you’re not trying to prove anything to another. All Yoga wants you to do is be in the present, working with your breath whilst creating strength and flexibility of body and mind.
Yoga doesn’t judge. Nor should you.
Yoga Asana (Poses) =
“That position which is comfortable and steady.”Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
12 Benefits of Yoga for over 50’s
Brain health – During Asana only the body should be active and the brain remains passive. Once you reduce the stress hormones in your brain, there is much more room left for all the other brain functions to operate cleanly. In other words, Yoga reduces stress and without stress you have a clearer head to perform all duties with clarity.
Longevity – Yoga prevents joint and cartilage break down; Increases bone density and health; Regulates your adrenal glands; Increases your heart rate; Lowers blood sugar; and for all the following reasons below, your life expectancy will be improved upon compared to if you didn’t practice Yoga.
Heart disease protection – Yoga reduces your Heart Rate and Blood Pressure. Simple. Studies on people with chronic heart failure after yoga practice have shown significant reduction in heart stress.
Reduce or prevent back & joint pain – Yoga has us starving then flooding our joints with fluid through specific poses. This is what keeps our joints / bones well oiled and able to move without too much pain. On top of the gain in lubrication, you will be stretching and strengthening all your muscles and tendons which will enable ease of movement, always.
Support bone health – That’s correct. A regular Yoga practice does help with building up bone density. Add to this factor the increase in balance you will have.. this means that you will not fall and fracture bones. Winning.
Manage arthritis – Reducing joint pain, increasing joint fluid and reducing tension in the muscles and tendons all help in the management of arthritis.. Another benefit of Yoga.
Helps with hormonal changes – Through specific Yoga poses we can re-activate critical glands and organs associated with our hormones. As we know, hormones are in control of MUCH more than just female fertility. There’s moods, bone density, blood pressure, and sexual desire – for both men and women.
Lower blood pressure – Through Yoga asana and Yogic breath we reduce our stress response, therefore our body responds by reducing blood pressure.
Assist with sleep – Once again, Yoga poses blended with Yogic breath (pranayama) reduce our stress and anxiety levels, as well as increasing physical fitness. Therefore, our minds are clearer and our bodies tired, helping us sleep. Click here for a great article on Yoga & sleep. Yoga Nidra – a meditation-like form is especially beneficial for reducing insomnia.
Your free Yoga Nidra session can be found here.
Boost emotional health – Increase your sense of wellbeing, your mindfulness, your relaxation and self confidence through Yogic practice. Yoga is more than just poses; Yoga incorporates mindfulness, breath work, self study and meditation. And there’s nothing bad on offer when you practice any of these, right?
Improve balance – This is a two-fold bonus. When we work on our physical balance our mental balance also improves. Through Yoga asana transitions – being made mindfully and with strength – and typically balancing poses we improve our mental and physical symmetry.
Supports healthy weight – This seems a tad obvious because during Yoga asana we are exercising, but were you aware that in some Yoga poses we starve and flood certain glands that help us with weight loss? Then there are poses that improve our digestion – also speeding up the weight loss process.
Why on earth wouldn’t you start practicing Yoga? As you can see from all the above, there are more benefits to a regular Yogic practice than most other forms of exercise.
Imagine living out the rest of your days being in a mentally blissful and flexible state of body and mind. Just WOW!
There are classes for all abilities, so research and find your tribe. Your body, mind and spirit will be ever grateful.
If you’re over 50 and keen to test out some of my GENTLE BEGINNER YOGA classes in the comfort of your own home then click this YOUTUBE link. Or you can find me in person (in PERTH).