I remember my first yoga class well. I have never been very limber (I can’t even touch my toes), so I went with the main goal of improving my flexibility. The class was much harder than I was expecting. Since I am not the most naturally graceful person (in other words, clumsy), finding my balance was tricky, and I sweated a lot more than I thought I would.


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But I loved learning the yoga poses (asanas) and the holistic aspect of it—the joining of mind, body and spirit. I enjoyed the mindful breathing and the physical and mental awareness it brought me. All it took was that one class, and I was hooked.

As I spent more time on the mat, I tailored the series of poses I did to meet my changing personal fitness goals. Because you can customize your practice according to your needs and ability, yoga is a very flexible (excuse the pun) form of exercise that is accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels. Even if you can’t stand on your own, you can still do seated poses. Yoga is for everyone!


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There are several different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Bikram, which can make it very confusing when you are looking for a class or video. If you are new to yoga, I recommend Hatha. It is slower moving and requires you to hold poses for only a few breaths.  Its relaxing pace is perfect for beginners.

Gentle Yoga is ideal for older people, as well as anyone who is recovering from an injury or who has a physical limitation. Check out a 15-Minute Gentle Yoga Sequence for Seniors and Chair Yoga Poses for All Ages on the website DoYouYoga, and 5 Beginner Yoga Poses for Seniors on The Chopra Center (as in Deepak Chopra) website. The website Sixty & Me is another good resource for Chair Yoga videos and articles on Yoga for Seniors.


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One of my favorite yoga websites is Yoga with Adriene by Adriene Mishler, a yoga teacher and actress from Austin, TX. Her YouTube channel has a huge selection of videos that address a variety of health issues, like Yoga for Migraines, Yoga for Sciatica, or Yoga for Wrist Pain.

She also has videos for different times of the day. You can do an energizing series of poses in the morning to wake up or a relaxing series of poses in the evening to wind down. If you only have 10 or 15 minutes, she has shorter practices called Yoga for Busy People.


Photo from Yoga with Adriene

You can practice yoga for a lifetime, and it provides a myriad of health benefits at any age. It can reduce high blood pressure, strengthen bones, protect your joints, improve balance and stability (which can help prevent falls as you grow older), curtail anxiety, boost your mood, and help to keep extra pounds off.

As always, please check with your doctor before starting this or any other exercise program.


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