Yoga can seem intimidating if you’ve never had a practice before. But you guys- the benefits (at our age especially) are sooooo worth stepping out of your comfort zone and onto the mat to give it a try! Here’s how to get started with yoga even if you’ve never tried it before. First I want to give you some reasons to encourage you to give it a whirl because there’s more to yoga than meets the eye.
Why you should try yoga over 40
- To Improve your flexibility and balance– You guys know that over 40, our balance and flexibility start to rapidly decline. Do you know what causes older people to “shuffle” instead of having a normal gate? Lack of flexibility, mainly in the hip flexors. Watch how people your age and 10 years older walk- it’s really fascinating. And losing our balance as we age, (leading to falling and possible injuries) doesn’t have to come with the territory either! There is considerable research that demonstrates that yoga can totally optimize your flexibility and balance.
- To Improve Your Posture: Yoga can help you elongate your spine and straighten posture. And while it doesn’t actually make you taller it will cause you to stand straighter which can help you make the most of whatever height you have!
- To Decrease Your Stress – Like other forms of exercise studies show that yoga can help ease stress and reduce anxiety by lowering your levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Lowering cortisol has a huge host of benefits including combating depression.
- Pain Relief– Yoga can relieve pain. Studies have shown that practicing yoga reduced pain for people with conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and auto-immune diseases. It can help arthritis, back and neck pain and other chronic conditions. It also works great for simple aches and pains we experience as we age. Wake up with a crick in your neck? Try yoga!
- Better breathing: Yoga includes breathing practices that can reduce your stress response and encourage relaxation. Many postures emphasize slowing down and deepening your breath (not as easy as it sounds). This activates your body’s parasympathetic system, (its relaxation response). By changing breathing, you can affect your body’s response to stress. This came as an unexpected benefit for me personally.
- Increased strength: Yoga uses every muscle in the body, increasing strength literally from head to toe.
- Heart Health: Yoga improves your circulation by efficiently moving oxygenated blood to the body’s cells. It provides even more cardiovascular benefits by lowering resting heart rate and improving oxygen uptake during exercise.
- Presence: This is probably the biggest benefit for me that I don’t experience with other forms of exercise (including Pilates). Yoga will help you to be more aware of yourself, your surroundings and the world around you. It can improve your concentration, your reaction time and your memory! It gives you the ability to calm yourself which is a powerful thing to possess.
An Easy Way to Get Started With Yoga
Have I convinced you to give it a go? You don’t have to be flexible to start. You don’t need a lot of time or any equipment to start. You’ll need comfortable clothes and eventually you’ll need a mat if you want to continue. All you tube yogis are not equal and this video is the perfect beginners yoga sequence. No pressure, it’s not threatening at all and you just do what you can do. I suggest doing this same one every day for 1 week. You’ll notice that each time, you’ll hear more in her words and you’ll be able to improve so much in just one week! I like this video because Adrian is not annoying to listen to (you know what I mean- I do find some of them very irritating to hear for very long, lol). She is instructional but not to the point of overwhelming you with too much info at once. Also, it’s only 20 minutes but you will learn some very basic yoga poses and get a great stretch. Video is here> Yoga For Complete Beginners
Drink the Kool-Aid. Seriously. For one week just find a quiet spot and do it without judgement. You may think the terminology is weird. You may giggle at some of the phrases. Just do it without question for one week and you’ll see where it’s going. The connection between your mind and body is truly something that is SO beneficial to everyone. It’s worth cultivating. And you just might find that you LOVE yoga!
My Personal Yoga Practice
I started as a complete beginner when I was around 40 years old. Going into it and not knowing anything about yoga I was surprised how challenging it was for me because I was already pretty flexible. I immediately felt the benefits and I was hooked. I eventually began to love inversions (handstands, etc) and other challenges. Moving to Utah, I began to fall away from my practice and by the time we moved to Montana I pretty much wasn’t doing yoga at all.
Now, back in Colorado, I’ve been working it back in on Sundays but I’m ready to get back into some sort of daily practice and maybe get back to trying harder poses and inversions again. The benefits are worth it for me and I really do enjoy it.
Shop My Yoga Picks
Other News Around Here
It’s official. We are booked for upcoming air travel. Troy will be on business but I’m excited to be coming along. It’s always interesting to see how different states are dealing with COVID restrictions. Comparatively, I honestly feel like we’ve been fairly lucky here in Colorado. For the most part, at least in the Springs, people have just done their bit without much drama and albeit with tremendously difficulty, most of our businesses have made it through so far. Except for the early spring we’ve still been able to dine out, etc. So it’s always interesting to see what we’re met with in other states. I’ll be sharing that trip here on the blog.
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