Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Do You Want To Know The Best Age To Start Yoga?

Do you want to know the best age to start practicing yoga? Well, you can start at any age! I know of five year old children attending classes and I know of Octogenarians who practice daily. I started in my mid forties and the thing is, all of us seem to be benefiting from it.

A forty year old friend mentioned that she feels she is too inflexible to practice but as someone once said, 'saying you are too inflexible to practice yoga is like saying you are too dirty to take a bath!'On that note, I would like to share with you a wonderful resource for the older yoga enthusiast.  It's a book called 'The New Yoga for People Over 50' and it's by a lovely lady called Suza Francina.  I know she is lovely because I have researched her and I have discovered her blog.

I am not over fifty years of age just yet but I am hurtling towards it. I was forty four when I started practicing yoga two years ago. If you are thinking of starting yoga and you feel you are too old, you can read how I started here  .

Product Details

I bought the Kindle edition of the book on my iphone so that I could start it as soon as possible. Yes.  I am impatient and though yoga has helped me to be less so, sometimes I have relapses! I love reading anything and everything about yoga, mainly online, but I will purchase the hard copy of anything that impresses me. I recently purchased 'Beat fatigue With Yoga' by Fiona Agombar after borrowing it from the library.

I am enthusiastic about yoga now where, in the past, I was not so convinced.  I did a few classes many years ago and then again a few years later at my workplace. While I found it better the second time, it just didn't impact on me the way it has this time. I believe I just wasn't ready to embrace it back then.I suppose I wasn't middle aged then and I didn't have any physical issues.Since starting to practice two years ago, yoga helped with both my physical and self esteem issues.

The first time I attended class, I was in pain and had to practice from a chair. I was surprised that not only was my teacher an older lady but many of the other students were older too. One man was eighty two and was able to do things that I could not.  He still attends the same class at eighty four and is living proof of the benefits of yoga. After a few months of specific postures to help with my back problems, I was able to practice from the mat like everyone else. It was such a wonderful feeling, and to this day, I have much less pain than I used to have. I can actually bend without moaning and I can walk much further than before.

The first time I attended class, I was also self conscious and fully sure I wouldn't stick at it. I am not fond of exercise and rarely stick at anything exercise related! I was worried about what I looked like in my yoga gear, being slightly overweight. I was worried how silly I would look trying to do Asanas/postures. I was surprised to find that everybody was so intent on their own practice and breathwork that nobody cared. Nobody is more surprised than myself that I am still practicing over two years later.

Yoga may not be for everyone but I feel that for most people, if they could stick at it for a few months, they would begin to see the benefits. Don't be impatient if it takes a while for things to 'click' with you.  Like most things, it is a learning process and two years later, I am  still learning more and more with each session. I did not and do not expect to undo years of negativity and self sabotage in a short period of time. However, I have found that with yoga, you not only learn to see things in a clearer way, you learn to breath properly, you learn to quiet the mind and you learn to love your own body.

You pick up so much information on physiology and anatomy, that it inspires curiosity about things you may not have thought about before. Flexibility, correct alignment and self awareness come with practice.  Like anything, the secret is to keep practicing.   I recently read an article about how yoga can cause injury to the body but in my opinion, any exercise practised over zealously and without proper guidance can do this.  I feel from my own experience and the experiences of many others that the benefits definitely outweigh the risks.

If you think you are too inflexible or too old take a look at these inspirational people and maybe you will be convinced!  Also take a look at this terrific site for some practical information on beginning yoga

Have you ever tried yoga classes and what was your experience?  Or do you practice yoga regularly? I would love to hear how old you were when you started.


  1. Well you know I was 57 when I first began my yoga practice and I am totally in love. I feel younger and more vibrant with a 5 day a week practice. Thanks for sharing the yoga love.

    1. Yep. I never cease to be amazed at how far you have come in your personal journey and your yoga journey. Truly inspiring!

  2. is it bad to try to do it at home alone, with a dvd to show me the way? I never have time to go to a class as most of the classes round my way are during the mornings when I'm at work. I have Geri Halliwell's DVDs - do you think they are ok? Jo Skehan

  3. Hi Jo. You certainly can do it at home by yourself and I have found that Geri Yoga DVD surprisingly good. Katy Appleton seems to be a great teacher. However, to avoid any injury and to be certain that you are doing the Asanas/poses correctly, I would try to do a few classes or pay someone to do a one to one class in the evening time.

  4. I've always loved the idea of yoga and then when I went to class....felt like a big dumb ass since I was unable to do the mat. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have a LOT of trouble pulling myself up from the floor. At home, when I do yoga with my partner, I fare better since she can easily haul me back up, but I am not good at asking strangers for help. I need to work on this, I know...

    1. You need to try a few different classes until you find the class and the teacher that suits you. My teacher is wonderful and would certainly have made you feel comfortable and helped you with postures to strengthen your body gradually.

  5. I started learning yoga at age 62. Now, I am well on my way of accomplishing my goal of doing a handstand by my 65th birthday in January 2014. Yoga has been wonderful for me. :)