Has your doctor told you that yoga would be great for your back and joint pain? Have you ever wished you’d taken yoga classes when you were younger? Do you feel intimidated taking classes now because you don’t know the poses or asanas? Starting a yoga practice over 50 can feel overwhelming, but the benefits can definitely outweigh any minor physical or mental discomfort surrounding getting started.
Here are some tips for getting started doing Yoga over 50.
Investigate the type of class you’re interested in and how it works with your specific health goals and physical challenges. For instance, if you’ve got issues with your back or knees, chronic pain, or shortness of breath, you might not want to start off in a heated vinyasa class. Many yoga studios offer a variety of classes for every level. Stop in and check out the class schedule and ask the teachers what they recommend.
Once you have an idea what kind of class you’re interested in, run it past your doctor just to make sure they agree that it’s a good idea. We’re pretty sure most doctors would agree that yoga is always a good idea, but it’s still important to verify.
Ask friends who have taken classes if there’s a particular studio, gym or class they would recommend. Investigating classes called gentle yoga or yoga basics is a good way to test the water.
If you don’t want to go to a gym or yoga studio, there are tons of online resources. YouTube offers thousands of free classes in different styles of yoga and from different teachers as well as tutorials, how-to instructional guides and more if you want to ease into a home practice before taking your practice out in the world.
Investing in some of your own gear can make it feel like a fun new adventure you’ll want to stick with. Whether you plan to practice at home or in a gym or studio, having your own mat is a good idea for convenience, safety and hygiene reasons. Stretchy comfortable clothes are also a good idea, but showing up on your mat in pajamas or loungewear might not put you in the right frame of mind. You don’t have to break the bank at Lululemon—unless you want to—but it might be fun and encouraging to have a few pairs of comfortable yoga pants that you actually wear for yoga.
Don’t overthink it. Even if you practice for 10 minutes on your living room floor or spend your first class in the back of the room in child’s pose, you’re still breathing, stretching and reaping benefits. Hang in there. Namaste.