Yoga benefits the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances your flexibility, allows you to practice mindfulness, and helps you maintain or lose weight. It is a practice that works to your benefit without you having to overexert yourself.
But, you may be wondering if you can start doing yoga when you are past your 50s. Well, you’ll be relieved to hear that yoga has no age limit and is available to you whenever you want to start practicing it.
It is an incredible practice that will help you stay fit and help manage illnesses that come with age. People with health conditions like arthritis, high blood pressure, and chronic pain will benefit greatly from practicing yoga.
So, how do you incorporate yoga into your lifestyle post-50? Here is a breakdown of Dos and Don’ts to help you get going.
Dos of Practicing Yoga Post 50
Enroll For Beginner Yoga Classes Near You
If you’ve never been to a yoga class or have never practiced yoga, enrolling in beginner classes is a great idea. Beginner yoga classes are designed to offer a safe space where complete newbies can come to learn and improve.
These classes are taught at a slower pace making them an incredible option. However, it can be a bit intimidating going to yoga classes, especially for the first time.
You’ll find yourself wondering whether people will mock you or if you’ll end up falling off the mat at times. These are legit concerns but remember that everyone in a beginner’s class is a beginner, and they are there to learn just like you.
For your first sessions, you can get to class earlier on and get a place behind until you are comfortable. In addition, make some friends who will motivate you and make you feel welcome in the space.
Enroll In Online Yoga Classes
Online yoga classes are an excellent option if you don’t want to start with group classes. You can pay or start with free online yoga classes and practice in the comfort of your home as you build your confidence.
At times practicing online can be isolating but most yoga trainers and institutes have communities you can be part of. In these communities, you can discuss your challenges and wins with yoga knowing it’s a safe space.
Online yoga classes will be a great option for you to practice without having that inner critique saying that people are watching you. You’ll fully embrace your beginner stages and move through different poses as they feel right to you.
Invest in Quality Yoga Gear
Being a beginner in yoga, you’ll need to invest in gear to help make the poses easier. Investing in quality yoga gear is especially important if you plan to be practicing at home.
Yoga studios and trainers will have the necessary gear during classes, making it easier for you if you go for physical classes.
But, if you want to invest in the right gear, here are some great options to consider as a beginner.
- Quality yoga mat
- Yoga blocks
- Yoga blankets
Investing in yoga gear will help make some movements easier before your flexibility improves over time.
Be Compassionate With Yourself
Yoga is more than just a physical activity. It is a practice that will help you stay in tune with your body and surroundings. It allows you to go slow and experience everything that is happening around you.
So, you need to be compassionate with yourself especially when you can’t do all the poses. In addition, if you run out of breath, take it easy and slow down to a pace that is more in tune with your body’s needs.
Going at your own pace is the only way to listen to your body and stay mindful. But, if you are rushing through, you’ll not enjoy the incredible benefits of yoga to your mind and spirit.
There are different yoga poses that you can easily start with today. You can start practicing in your bed right before sleep or after waking up. Basic stretches are a great way to ease yourself into the yoga practice.
Some incredible poses to start trying right now include;
- Seated twist
- Lying twist
- Legs up the wall
- Hip openers
- Butterfly pose
These yoga stretches for beginners allow you to start small and work your way up to other more engaging poses. The best part about these stretches is that you can go at your pace and honor what your body needs at that moment.
Prepare For Your Yoga Sessions
Taking the time to prepare for your yoga sessions ensures that you are ready for the different poses. Preparing will entail getting your gear, ensuring your body is ready, and getting into the right mindset.
Detoxing is a great way to get your body ready for your yoga sessions. There are different ways to do this, including green smoothies and drinking plenty of water. Having occasional detox foot baths that help you detox through your feet is also a great idea.
Meditating before your yoga sessions is a great way to get into the right mindset and slow down. Preparing is always a great idea that will set the tone for your yoga session and increase its impact.
Get Familiar With the Types of Yoga
Different types of yoga will come in handy at different points in your journey. These types of yoga feature specific benefits that you can take advantage of when you need them.
If you want to slow down and restore balance in your body, restorative yoga is a great option. In addition, if you want to get rid of any unwanted energies and substances in your body, detox yoga is the way to go.
Other types of yoga that you can look into include;
- Hatha yoga
- Kundalini yoga
- Vinyasa yoga
- Bikram yoga
- Yin yoga
- Power yoga
Don’ts of Practicing Yoga Post 50
Don’t Push Yourself Through Hard Poses
When starting your yoga practice as a beginner, some poses will not come easy. It will be challenging to move through some of them, limiting you a bit. But, you should not push yourself to get such poses right.
These are the kinds of poses you’ll need to modify and work with what feels right for you. Remember, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Forcing yourself to move through hard poses may lead to injury.
So, take it easy and modify where you need to. Gear like yoga blocks and bolsters will help you modify different poses and act as support when needed. Over time, the poses will become easier as your body starts to adjust and you become more flexible.
Don’t Criticize Yourself
As a beginner, you may not move through poses seamlessly. It may take you some time to catch up to the trainer and your fellow trainees. But, that is normal and as time goes by, you’ll find that you pick up the pace quite fast.
So, this is not the time to criticize yourself. Instead, remember to be compassionate with yourself as you start out. Your inner critic may be a menace and lead you to quit a practice that is worthwhile for you.
Practice some affirmations to help quiet that voice and get you in the right mindset. Meditation will also help you, making your yoga sessions more enjoyable and easier for you.
Don’t Limit Yourself and Potential
At your age, you may be tempted to think that it’s too late to start practicing yoga. But, this is wrong and it’s a thought that you should not entertain. You can practice yoga at any age and with any health conditions.
All you need to keep in mind is that it should be a practice that you take on with mindfulness. Do what feels right for you and modify where you need to.
Don’t limit yourself and your potential when it comes to practicing yoga. Take your time to start small and work your way up as you get more comfortable. In addition, speak to your trainers for advice and assurance that you are on the right path.
You’ll often find success stories of people who took up yoga later in life and continue to incorporate it into their lifestyle.
Don’t Feel Pressured to Learn Everything at Once
There are so many yoga resources out there that you may be tempted to dive into everything to learn as much as you can. But, as a beginner, you do not need to learn everything at once.
A lot of the knowledge will come with time as you continue to implement this practice into your life. You may find a natural inclination to learn more about it from its history and get into other aspects like Sanskrit.
However, the most important aspect right now is for you to start practicing yoga. Have a set schedule and show up for your sessions without fail. In addition, take breaks when you need to but remember consistency is essential for you to enjoy the various benefits of yoga.