Have you thought about trying yoga? As a woman in the 60+ season of life, the benefits of yoga are many. Yoga has been shown to
Myth #1 I’ll Embarrass Myself
Embarrassing? Here’s the story of my very first yoga class. It took me weeks to work up the courage to try the free yoga class in my community center. But here I was, a 50-something newbie, without even a proper yoga mat (I brought a BEACH TOWEL, for pity’s sake!) Even though I tried to hide in the back, the teacher marched right up to me, and pointing at my beach towel, said “I don’t know how you plan to practice with THAT!” Red with embarrassment, my face hot with shame, I tried to follow what was advertised as a Level I class (they lie!) I didn’t know any of the poses, couldn’t see the teacher while I was bent over with my arms and legs twisted like a pretzel. After 45 cringe-worthy minutes, I sat on my pathetic beach towel feeling like a complete failure. But an amazing thing happened. A lovely young girl near me said, “Good job! It’s always rough in the beginning. Make sure you come back, and you may want to get a mat.” Her kindness in that moment soothed my wounded ego more than I can say.
After a few stops and starts, I finally found a yoga teacher who treated me with patience and kindness. She honored my beginner’s journey and helped me learn to love yoga.
Myth #2 I’m too old.
Allow me tell you about Laura (not her real name), a student in my gentle yoga class at the local community college. Laura was 93! Granted, there were some things Laura needed to modify, but together we explored what worked for her body. Every week, her bright smile and positive energy filled the class. Not only that, Laura stayed afterwards to take the Senior Strength class that followed mine! What an inspiration!
Or what about Marty? Nearing 80, she had never tried yoga, and she was nervous that it would be too much for her. We spoke about the importance of honoring your body, asking questions and going at your own pace. When she came back for week 2, Marty was beaming with pride. She had spoken to her 20-something grandson, an avid yoga student, and she was pleased as pie to tell him, “Guess what? Your grannie is doing yoga!”
Bottom line? It is not too late. You are not too old. You are right on time for yoga.
Myth #3 I’m not flexible enough
Ahhh, flexibility... I look at photos of yogis bent at the waist, palms flat on the floor, and I sigh. That’s not me, never has been, highly unlikely it ever will be. Ditto for openness in the shoulders, hips, back and just about any other muscle or joint in my oh-so-stiff body. If you can relate, it doesn’t mean you’re not a candidate for yoga. Because here’s the thing to remember... yoga begins where you are. Every body is unique. One thing is for sure. On the days that I practice yoga, my body feels longer and stronger. I stand a little taller, feel a little looser in my joints. As we age, most of us experience stiffness, aches and pains. Or maybe you’re experiencing an illness or injury that impacts your ability to move. A gentle yoga practice, like that offered in Midlife Yoga, may be just the thing your body needs for this next season of life. Of course, it’s always best to check with your doctor to be sure gentle yoga is right for you.
Bottom line? Regular, gentle movement, like that provided in yoga, keeps the body limber, the muscles strong and may help alleviate age-related aches and pains . No toe-touching required!
Still not sure if gentle yoga is right for you? Try this beginner friendly practice and see what you think.
If you're thinking about beginning your own your yoga journey, visit my Midlife Yoga webpage by clicking here...