Updated: Oct 14, 2021
It has been great returning to the face-to-face yoga classes recently, teaching online has its merits but doesn’t come close to the experience of getting people together in a room.
I am particularly enjoying the classes that have yogis of senior age attending. I can say this as I have also hit the 60 milestone and by virtue of my time in the forces, started to draw a pension. I see this as a badge of honour! Whilst I may not be able to move like I did when I was 30, I can still move, and this is the point, “if we don’t move it, we lose it”.
Many seniors find that their mobility, flexibility, and body strength have certain limitations. This can be due to injuries, the aging process, arthritis, and other health conditions. There is also in some people a fear of falling and concern of the recovery involved in breaking a hip. On the other side of things, many elderly people have more free time and wish to increase their blood circulation, range of motion, and stay in shape. Women are advised by their GPs to exercise to help with bone density. Exercise is also advised for heart health and to maintain blood pressure levels.
Fortunately, there are forms of yoga that help one stay active yet take into account some of the limitations that many people have. Senior yoga classes can include restorative yoga, gentle yoga, and chair sessions. Breathing, relaxation, gentle stretching and body strengthening are part of the classes, in any yoga class, one can modify the movements and do them in accord with one's own circumstance. I would always encourage my class to take time out and hold a comfortable restorative posture at any time they wish, for however long they wish, it’s still yoga.
It is important to not spend the days only in sedentary living but to continue some type of physical activity unless your doctor advises against it. Not only is this important physically, but mentally it is very encouraging and lifting to the spirit to be able to do some physical movements that might have seemed impossible. Senior yoga classes also are a social setting where friendships can be built, and new interactions broadened.
It is up to us to keep moving. I am always pleased to see seniors join the classes. I say to all my yogis, the hardest part about yoga is getting onto the mat….