Have you started thinking about signing up for a yoga class?
Maybe you’re someone who thinks you can’t do yoga because you’re “too old”, right? WRONG! It’s never too late to get active, and yoga is a great way to not only increase flexibility, but quiet your mind and focus on your physical and mental health.
In this blog, you’ll be able to understand what steps you need to take in order to start your yoga journey.
Here’s what we’ll talk about:
- The benefits of yoga
- What you need to do before your start classes
- The different kinds of yoga you can try
- A few studios in the Austin area we recommend
- A few tips from us
What are the Benefits of Yoga?
- Increase of flexibility and mobility
- Better balance and strength- this prevent falls!
- Better mental health
What to Do Before You Start
- If need be, consult your doctor. Odds are they’ll say yes, but if you’re someone that has severe balance issues or you’re iffy about starting, asking your doctor if it’s OK is a good idea. Better to be safe than sorry! Some people are suited yoga, but may be suited for some other kind of exercise that helps. Whatever class you take, they are not liable for any injury.
- Pick the right class for you. You may have to do some research, but try to find studios that maybe have an older clientele. Some studios let people take one free class, or have a week of free classes so you can try it out and see if it’s the right fit. If you’re someone that might need some more support, ask what to expect from the class and if they have chairs and can do variations of moves for you. If not, you can attend a chair yoga class. They’re slightly harder to find, but there definitely are some in Austin!
- Set goals and STICK TO THEM. If you’re someone that wants to just do yoga to get out more, that’s great! If you’re someone that has a goal in mind (be able to touch your toes, strengthen your balance so you can walk without a cane, then set that goal and make sure you consistently attend your classes.
- Check COVID protocols. Since we’re still living in a global pandemic, if you’re someone that is nervous about being around a larger group of people, call the studio you’re interested in and ask questions! If you’re fine with going into the studio, ask how many people are in each class, if you’re required to wear a mask, etc. If you want to do it from home, ask if they have classes available virtually. * If you are someone that struggles severely with balance, this is probably not the best option for you. An accident at home when no one is around can be dangerous, so please get advice from your doctor or a yoga instructor before you do this!
Different Kinds to Try
- Beginner’s Yoga: This is fairly obvious, but if you’ve never done yoga before, most studios will have what they call a “Beginner’s Yoga class” or “Intro to Yoga class.” Ask about classes like this when you inquiring about a studio, then as you progress you can level up and start doing harder classes, or stay in those classes! Whatever you feel most comfortable doing.
- Hatha Yoga: Hatha is another phrase for “any”, so technically hatha yoga is any type of yoga! But this type is close to a beginner’s class. It’s typically slower pace and focuses more on poses, which is great for increasing your balance!
- Chair Yoga: This is a great option if you’re someone that is a little unsteady and needs something to ground you while taking a class. You’d be surprised by how much flexibility you can still gain by doing yoga in a chair!
A Few Studios in Austin We Recommend
- Satyananda Yoga Center: This studio is specialized for older adults and is currently offering classes virtually! http://www.satyanandayogacenter.com/seniors.html
- The YMCA: You’ve heard of this place before, but did you know they offer great yoga classes for senior citizens? The best part is they’re free! There are many different locations to chose from, which makes it more convenient and close to home! https://www.austinymca.org/programs/senior-fitness
- Flow Yoga- This company has multiple locations in the Austin area, but their Cedar Park location offers special classes for seniors! They are currently offering a 30-day trial for just $30. https://flowyogatx.com/locations/cedar-park/senior-yoga/
A Few Tips…
We strongly recommend you don’t just purchase yoga books, or watch YouTube videos online. Sometimes you may not have the right position or understanding of a pose, and could injure yourself. It is best to get instruction from a professional, especially if you’re 60+. Our body changes as we age, and we just sometimes have to be a little more cautious in order to avoid injury! If you really want to buy a book or watch a video, MAKE SURE it’s for older adults and not people in their 20s that can do headstands and hold a plank for 2 hours. It’s good to push yourself and strive towards a larger goal, but make sure you’re realistic with your abilities!
Find a buddy. Having a partner that attends classes with you helps you socialize and hold yourself accountable! Exercising is always easier when you’re not alone, in my opinion. Maybe you get a friend or loved one to start being active and start a chain reaction!
Does yoga not really sound like your thing? Then meditate! Meditation is a large part of yoga, but if you’re thinking the movements will be to much for you, look for mediation classes. You won’t get the physical exercises, but mental health is just as important as physical!
In conclusion, you’re never too old to start! You might need to take a few precautions and do a little research before you start, but becoming a stronger, healthier you is within reach! Take the tips in this blog and start your yoga journey TODAY!