You’re Never Too Old
I recently posted a few photos of my private yoga student, Candice McClung, in The Yoga Room, a popular Face Book page for yoga enthusiasts. I thought people might be pretty impressed with her One-legged Down Dog, Bridge Pose, and Side Plank. Why? Because this yogini just celebrated her 90 birthday a few months ago. What I wasn’t prepared for was the overwhelming response; close to 400 likes and about 40 comments within a few hours, expressing how inspirational it was to see her strength and flexibility. Many people commented that they hoped to be like her at that age.
Il can’t tell you how many times people tell my they’d love to practice yoga, but they’re just too old. They’re usually much younger than Candice. I guess that excuse just went by the wayside. Yoga is accessible to everyone, no matter what age, or level of ability. It’s called a yoga practice for a reason; it takes practice. Candice has been practicing for 10 years. She started as a youngster of 80. I suggest starting with a gentle style of yoga, a beginner class, or one specifically designed for seniors. If you have physical limitations due to past injuries, conditions such as arthritis that limit range of motion, etc. A good yoga teacher will offer modifications and alternative poses.
One-Legged Down Dog
As we age, we lose muscle density, bone density, flexibility, balance, and core strength. Yoga can help slow down all these affects of aging, enhancing overall range of motion and stability, and therefore quality of life. If you’re just beginning a yoga practice, be patient with yourself. Listen to your body, and don’t force yourself into a pose if it feels uncomfortable or painful.
Adding yoga to your lifestyle has many health benefits associated with aging well, including the following:
- Aids in control of blood sugar in diabetic people
- Helps relieve depression
- Helps reduce stress
- Helps alleviate arthritis & joint pain
- Improves balance & core strength
- Improves flexibility & range of motion
- Enhances respiratory function