If you’re thinking of starting yoga over 50, congratulations! You’re about to begin a fitness practice that can have a truly positive effect on your physical and mental wellbeing.
The benefits of yoga are well documented.
According to the NHS, studies show it can help with everything from high blood pressure and heart disease to stress and depression. Even if you’re in general good health, yoga can still benefit your daily life, improving flexibility, strength and balance.
This all means that if you’re interested in keeping fit as an older person, yoga is definitely worth exploring. There’s no maximum age – you can reap the benefits as a beginner in your 50s, 60s and beyond. You can get started with yoga whatever your fitness level, and it’s suitable for all genders.
This ancient practice involves moving between a series of exercises, known as poses, along with breathwork and some meditation. There are many different types of yoga that are suitable after age 50, so you can find the right style to suit your needs, whether you want an energising workout or a restorative routine.
Ready to get started? These are the key ways to get the most out of yoga in your 50s and above.
1. Join a class
At-home yoga videos are very convenient, but they’re not always best for a beginner. The sheer number of routines you’ll find online can be overwhelming, and it’s not always easy to tell whether you’re doing a pose correctly. If you’re new to the practice, consider turning to the professionals, so you can start out with tailored instruction and feedback. David Lloyd Clubs have a range of fitness classes that cover types of yoga including Hatha and Ashtanga.
2. Consider different styles
Speaking of styles, we recommend keeping an open mind. Don’t be afraid to try different types of yoga when you’re starting out. You may find that your preference varies depending on your mood, so you end up taking a range of classes!
3. Think about your clothing
There’s no compulsory style of clothing for yoga, whether you’re over 50 or any other age – it’s all about finding what feels right for you. Saying that, you’ll probably be more comfortable in stretchy, breathable fabrics, and it’s a good idea for women to wear a sports bra. Some poses involve bending over forwards, so we’d suggest wearing a top that won’t fall up over your head in the middle of the class.
4. Practise breathwork at home
Breathing techniques are a key part of yoga, and these are beneficial if you want to reduce stress as an older adult. Take what you learn in class and spend a few minutes each day breathing mindfully – you can do it anywhere!
5. Build a wellness journey
With its emphasis on holistic wellbeing, starting yoga over 50 can be the springboard to a healthier lifestyle. It’s not just about exercise, although we’ll talk more about that later. There are many wellness options at David Lloyd Clubs to help you create a holistic mind-body experience, from nutrition to spa time.
6. Make yoga social
Yoga is something you can easily practise in a class or on your own. However, if you want some extra motivation, why not see if a friend or family member will join you? As yoga is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, anyone you know can start yoga with you.
7. Stay hydrated
It may not be as obvious as with a cardio workout, but it’s important to drink water before and after your yoga practice.
8. Start slow
When you’re beginning any new form of exercise, it’s a good idea to take it easy to start. Even if you fall in love with yoga from your very first sun salutation, don’t be tempted to book a class for every day of the week. You can gradually build up your strength and flexibility with one or two classes per week and then progress to more. If in doubt, check with your yoga teacher.
9. Forget perfect
Remember, yoga isn’t about performing every pose perfectly; it’s about following your individual path towards flexibility, strength and balance. Once you’ve started to build confidence in yoga, you can use it as the basis for exploring other fitness ideas. You could stick with strength work, or explore cardio options such as gym workouts, swimming and tennis, which you can also try at David Lloyd clubs – find your local club to discover more.