Yoga has really become a popular activity for both the young and for senior citizens over the last few years. If you’ve been thinking about starting yoga, but are afraid your body might not be up for the challenge, push those feelings aside. I’m here to help you get into yoga at your own pace, regardless of your age. Whether you’re older than 50 or you just hit your 20s, there’s something valuable that any person, regardless of age, can take away from a regular yoga practice.
My Body Isn’t What It Used To Be…
Not all of us are in the shape that we’d like to be in, whether we’d like to admit it or not. I know that I, myself, have a long way to go before I reach my fitness goals. The key is to start small. You don’t need to put unwanted stress on your body or try to force your limbs into difficult positions just because that’s what the instructor calls for (and yes, if you’re just starting out, I do recommend a yoga instructor for those new to the practice. You can find a yoga class in your town or search YouTube for beginner yoga lessons).
I personally like to use YouTube for guided instruction, and Yoga with Adriene has some really good videos for yoga students of all levels. If an instructor isn’t your thing, no sweat! You can look up some basic yoga stretches and find what works best for you.
The important thing to remember is that just because a lesson is headed in a certain direction, that does not mean you have to participate in the stretches that are too uncomfortable for your body. For example, if your wrists give you aches and pains, downward-facing-dog or a full body plank may be too much for you. You could switch it up by laying on your back and lifting your arms and legs in a V shape, instead.
Even if your body has very limited movement and just about every stretch and position hurts, just working with what you can do will seriously help with your flexibility. Over time, you might find yourself being able to do those stretches that you earlier thought were impossible.
Finding Someone to Practice With
You may be the type of person who will be more likely to participate if you have a friend to do it with. I can assure you that there are people everywhere of all ages, shapes, and sizes who are adamant yoga enthusiasts.
You may not be able to get your best friend into the practice right away, but I suggest going to a gym such as LA Fitness that offers yoga classes or any other yoga studio and working with a beginner class. You’ll be surprised to see that beginner yoga isn’t all models and athletes. They’re filled with people just like you and me!
After some weeks in a dedicated class, who knows? Perhaps your friend who was originally against going with you may come around and attend a class to see what it’s like. If they’re still on the fence, you can even show them this article to help counter any arguments they might have about not being flexible!
This may or may not relate to you, but if you’re no longer driving or have a hard time getting around, there are a few things you could consider:
- YouTube channels dedicated to yoga
- DVDs on beginner yoga
- Hiring a private instructor
If you’re like me, I personally enjoy video instruction because it allows me to go at my own pace. I can pause the video and hold a particular stretch that feels super good just a little longer. I can also go back if I missed something, or move forward if I don’t want to do a particular stretch.
Videos may not be for you though, and that’s okay! Some people really enjoy the face-to-face interaction, and I can definitely see why. Having someone there while you practice can help if you’re unsure if you’re doing the poses correctly. Just remember that they are there to help you, not to judge you. Don’t let the fear of failure deter you from getting a personal instructor or a yoga partner. Nobody is going to judge you, and if they do, that’s something that they need to work on, not you. You’re perfect.
What Are You Waiting For?
Whether you’re 24 or 94, you’re not getting any younger! If yoga is something that you’ve been thinking about trying, try it. Hopefully, by now you can see that some of those things that you were afraid of were really no biggie. The yoga community is a very welcoming one, so if you’re just starting out know that you’re accepted and we want you to participate with us!
I hope this article helps a little bit, and I hope that if you’ve been thinking about doing yoga that you give it a shot. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below!