Why is a regular yoga practice important for people over 50?
As we age, everything in our lives and bodies changes. Whether it’s a general slowing down of activity, going through menopause, feeling more aches & pains, or just taking longer to recover from an injury, it’s important to practice yoga in your 50’s. This topic is especially poignant for me, as I just celebrated my 55th birthday. I’m smack dab in the middle of my fifth decade, with lots of good times and tears, peaks & valleys all clustered in my last few years. Studying & understanding the physical and emotional changes of my middle years has made it easier to keep my life in perspective, not take myself too seriously, and to thrive. My yoga journey this year also made a huge difference in my overall mental health and well-being.
Why start or continue practicing yoga when you’re over 50 years old?
- Increase your Flexibility: Our bodies can become more flexible with practice. As we age, you may notice more aches & pains. You need to increase and maintain your range of motion and flexibility in a natural way. Regular stretching brings about a state of suppleness that helps in all parts of your body. Plus being flexible helps decrease the presence of injuries.
- Deep Mental and Emotional Peace: Our minds benefit greatly from the meditative aspects of Yoga. With practice, you re-condition your mind, and literally, let go of any unnecessary thought all day long. This comes through the discipline of a regular yoga practice.
- Overall Health and Wellness: Yoga gives your body permission to do other activities in a way where you rarely get hurt. Your nervous system will not go into fight or flight as quickly. Yoga helps strengthen your immune system, and you’ll find you won’t get sick as happen often.
- Authentic Joy! Practice can become fun. As you participate in classes or self-study, yoga helps you to know what you need, what you need more of, and how much. Practicing mindfulness becomes fun and enlightening experience rather than a chore, or routine, or a have-to. The intuitive aspect of yourself gets very strong and you can learn to trust it.
- Life Perspective and Tranquility The ability to look at your life & keep perspective is critical in your middle-ages. Yoga teaches you to be present on and off the mat. Throughout the day you can call on that calmness and broaden our perspective. Taking a different perspective may help you see alternate solutions to everyday situations. Your stress levels can drop tremendously by just breathing and bringing yoga practice into your every day.
As you learn to live in the moment, practice mindfulness, and keep your body healthy, you will find these middle-years become more satisfying than ever. Being in your 50’s is a wonderful time to slow down, get out of the rat race, and discover what is important in life. This is the time to face who you are, make meaning of your life experiences, understand your life’s journey deeper, and face your own mortality. I wish you so much joy and fulfillment in this stage of your life. If you’d like to see what a yoga practice looks like for women in their fifties, check out this video.
Peace and blessings always.