Am I too old for Yoga?

Whether you’re recently retired or a few decades into your golden years, you may be looking for a new pastime to keep yourself active and your days full. As some activities might become harder to take on as you age, it’s not unusual to question your ability to join certain classes or adopt certain hobbies.

However, no matter your age or position in life, Ashtanga Yoga can be a great option for seniors. In fact, taking on a few yoga classes each week can have huge benefits for older Australians. As a low-intensity exercise, Yoga is ideal for beginners of all ages and capabilities.

Why yoga?

There are many reasons why an older adult may want to consider yoga. These include possible physical, emotional and social benefits.

For starters, keeping your body moving later in life is important for maintaining balance, flexibility and joint strength, which all contribute to your ability to avoid falls and injuries. As yoga focusses on all three of these areas, participants should be less predisposed to falls.

Yoga is also widely accepted as being incredibly beneficial for mental state and emotional health. The ability to reduce stress, centre your mind and reflect positively on yourself is an incredible bonus for seniors.

Finally, joining a North Sydney Yoga class can help expand your social circle, creating positive community connections. When you retire, it’s easy to feel you are being confined without your old work interactions to fill out your social agenda. Therefore, getting out of the house and spending time with likeminded people is important and made easy with North Sydney Yoga.

Of course, beginning classes as an older adult can be intimidating. If you’re concerned about jumping into a session with younger participants, here are a couple of tips to ensure you stay safe and can get the most out of your new hobby:

  1. Know your limits

Jumping into an experienced yoga class is not recommended for any beginner, as it takes time and patience to build the flexibility and skills required for advanced asana. A slow, beginners class – like North Sydney Yoga’s ‘Yoga Essentials Course’ or the ‘Beginners drop-in’ class – is a great place to start, but be sure to be mindful of your limits even there.

Pushing your comfort zone is a good way to increase flexibility and joint-strength, however you need to listen to your body and be prepared to pause or skip any poses that could potentially be dangerous.

  1. Get advice

Before getting involved in any new physical activity, it pays to speak to the professionals. Whether this means seeking the advice of your doctor or simply talking to your local yoga teacher, the more you know before you begin, the safer you will be.

You’re never too old to start yoga – or too young. As the famed Chinese Proverb explains; the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the second best time is today.