As people age, they often look for different ways to stay healthy and active. For some, that may mean starting a new exercise routine. Yoga is a great option for seniors, but there are some things to consider before you start. In this article, we will discuss 5 considerations that every senior should take into account before trying yoga!
Look For Classes Specifically Designed For Seniors
Many seniors are hesitant to try yoga because they think it will be too difficult or strenuous. However, there are many different types of yoga and classes specifically designed for seniors. Look for a studio that offers gentle or chair yoga classes. These classes are slower-paced and more beginner-friendly.
Don’t Assume That A Class Called “Gentle” Or “Beginning” Yoga Is Appropriate For Seniors With Medical Conditions
- Check with your doctor to see if there are any poses or sequences that should be avoided.
- Be mindful of your body. If you have joint pain, for example, avoid deep knee bends and seated forward folds.
- Yoga can help improve balance and stability, but take it slow until you get comfortable with the poses. If you’re feeling unsteady on your feet, don’t practice near a wall or railing.
- If you’re new to yoga, start with a few basic poses like downward-facing dog, cat-cow pose, warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), and triangle pose (Trikonasana). These poses will help open up your hips, chest, and shoulders.
- Listen to your body. If a pose feels uncomfortable or you feel like you’re pushing yourself too hard, back off and try a variation.
Avoid Yoga Poses That May Be Unsafe Or May Aggravate A Medical Condition
- Be especially mindful of your balance and stability when trying new poses.
- If you have any doubts about whether a yoga pose is appropriate for you, ask your instructor.
- If you are new to yoga, it’s best to start with a slow-paced class and avoid poses that involve extreme stretching or challenging balance moves.
- If you have a heart condition, asthma, or another respiratory problem, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting a yoga practice. Certain yoga poses can increase the risk of complications for people with these conditions.
Seek Out A Qualified Teacher
Make sure your instructor has extra training in teaching seniors. Look for credentials. If you’re working one-on-one with a private instructor, ask about their experience teaching seniors and if they have any special training in the area of senior yoga. Some instructors are certified to teach chair yoga, which is particularly helpful for those who don’t want or aren’t able to get down on the floor. Even if your instructor doesn’t specialize in senior yoga specifically, they should still be sensitive to issues that commonly arise as we age and know when it’s time to refer you out for further evaluation by a health care professional.
Know Your Limitations And Work Within Them
Be honest with yourself about what you can (and cannot) do on the mat. If you’re not comfortable with a certain pose or feel pain during a session, don’t be afraid to sit it out and observe what your classmates are doing instead of pushing yourself beyond your limits. You can always ask your instructor for modifications.
So, if you’re thinking about giving yoga a try as a senior citizen, be sure to keep the following things in mind. First, look for classes specifically designed for seniors – just because a class is called “gentle” or “beginning” doesn’t mean it will be appropriate for everyone. Second, avoid poses that may be unsafe or might aggravate an existing medical condition. And finally, always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise program, and work within your own limitations. If you have any questions at all about whether yoga is right for you, give Yoga Flow SF a call today – we would love to help!
Do You Need Senior-Friendly Yoga Classes You Can Trust?
In the beginning, Yes. Especially if you have not maintained an active lifestyle. We suggest for you to begin with Yin yoga or classes labeled level ‘1-2’. Our Walnut Creek studio also has Gentle Yoga with Massage Therapy Balls. We are known for Vinyasa Flow classes at Yoga Flow SF which mix traditional yoga poses with athletic movements to create a vigorous and balanced workout for practitioners. We get Seniors in these classes! Our motto is to do what you can, forget the rest and rest when needed. Our instructors’ energy during the class is infectious, making it an empowering experience for all levels of practitioners—from beginner to advanced. We offer modifications that simplify the poses to be more suitable for beginners or some that amplify them for our advanced practitioners so you can choose which one is better suited based on your skill level! Specifically, this type of yoga really helps with creating strength and flexibility in both body AND mind while challenging us to grow into stronger versions of ourselves. Book your first class now at one of our San Francisco locations or our new location in downtown Walnut Creek!