Some may think that they are too old to do yoga, but the fact of the matter is, yoga is suitable for any age. Like many other healthcare professionals, Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yogi, says that “the purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body.” The cool thing about yoga is that anyone can do it at any age and any time.
The Mental and Physical Benefits
Yoga is known for not only its physical benefits, but its mental benefits as well. It has been widely credited to reducing stress, which is nice since stress can cause physical issues such as back pain and headaches. With yoga’s incorporation of meditation, it has also been known to help with things such as reinforcing healthy sleeping patterns and achieving mental clarity.
In order to achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe, yoga integrates mind, body and spirit through a large array of practices and procedures. Hatha yoga is one of the various paths and is actually what is commonly referred to as what we know as "yoga" in the West. Although the many yoga traditions emphasize various methods and practises, they all ultimately lead to the same state of mind and body wellness. Along with all of these positive mental effects, yoga also provide a number of positive physical effects. These include things such as improving flexibility, weight loss, muscle strength and more.
There are many different poses in yoga, each with their own benefits. Some common poses are child's pose, downward-facing dog, plank pose, four-limbed staff pose, cobra pose, tree pose, triangle pose, seated half-spinal twist pose, bridge pose, and corpse pose. While some of these poses are challenging, there are many that are suitable for seniors and those with limited mobility.
The Bottom Line
The appeal of yoga is that everyone can experience its advantages without needing to be a yogi or yogini. No matter your age, weight, or level of fitness, yoga has the ability to soothe the mind and build physical strength. Don't let yoga terminology, posh yoga studios or challenging positions scare you. Anyone can do yoga.