Yoga for senior

The practice of yoga is an activity known to all, and practiced by the greatest number, regardless of age. Indeed, from the yoga mat to the sun salutation, through mindfulness or twisting, it is a whole part of our body and mind that we work, at 7 as well as at 77 years old. However, age can play a role in letting go and in the effectiveness of certain yoga postures. Enough to practice positive thinking!

But at what age are we considered "senior" otherwise? In the world of sports, they are getting younger and younger. For example, in Athletics the "senior" category is at only 23 years old! Everything is thus relative, and muscular reinforcement, flexion, alignment of the spine, or stretching will be accessible to all, even to the oldest among us!


What is a senior in yoga?

Whatever discipline one decides to practice, yoga class or not, there is an age that is considered to be that of maturity, of "seniority". It is from this age that we consider that a certain respect for age must be carried out, and that we must adapt certain exercises to the body and the state of health of our seniors. However, these are indeed generalities that sport offers us, because some people of this age are as young as many others.

In spite of all this, it is obvious that certain classes can be offered to seniors, for the simple reason that, despite all the exceptions that confirm the rule, most seniors have a similar level of yoga, as do the young people. A senior is therefore a person whose age is that of retirement (I'll let you guess who is retiring at what age!), and whose physical fitness does not allow for madness.

By "foolishness", we mean breathing, alignment of the spine, muscle strengthening, relaxation and stress management. All of these cannot be practiced in a deep and intensive way, but everything is possible when you are a senior, and you will probably learn much more from them in your yoga practice than from many others. You just need to know how to dose the energy and the intensity of the classes!




Adapting your yoga goals when you are a senior

Of course, yoga is a very beautiful discipline, however, it is important to know how to best manage the objectives that we set ourselves as a senior, before we can even choose which type is best for us. Multiple desires and goals can therefore be distinguished when we take up yoga as an activity:

• To relax,
• Gentle exercise,
• Meet new faces,
• Understand this very special way of life,
• Linking sport and food,
• Associating body, mind and spirit,
• Initiate yourself to meditation,
• Learn how to breathe better.

Thus, there is not one, there is not ten, but many, many goals that one can set oneself when one decides to practice yoga and is a senior. Because even beyond the age of 60, our goals are formed, transformed, and give us a vision of yoga that is the most beautiful, the most complete and the most enjoyable possible, for all types of people, of course!


Adapting the type of yoga practiced as a senior citizen

Whether we are 50 or 98 years old, most of the time, our body is a little less reactive, a little less flexible, and much more difficult to manage after a certain age. This is not a problem, but rather a fact, which should be taken into account in order to take full advantage of the benefits of yoga, whether it be breathing exercises, pranayama, or sun salutations.

The idea, when you are a senior, is to follow group classes, adapted to your state of health, so that you do not practice yoga alone, and often do the postures badly, or even make mistakes in them. The idea, when practicing yoga, is to achieve balance between body, mind and spirit, regardless of your age. Yoga is open to everyone, you just have to know how to take advantage of it!

Among the types of yoga that can be encouraged when one reaches a certain age, or that correspond more to the problems encountered at this age, we could mention :

• The yoga nidra, which will help more people whose sleep problems become a hindrance and a worry,
• The most suitable yoga for back problems, which is not too dynamic,
• Laughter yoga, mostly for people who feel sad and lonely, as we often see at retirement age.

These are of course only examples, but they show that you can be senior and practice yoga simply. You just need to learn to listen to your body, your inner harmony, and to learn about the type of yoga you should be practicing.





Yoga postures to avoid when you're a senior

Everything is potentially feasible when you are older and want to practice yoga, however, it is important to know how to make exceptions, and to realize that some exercises are no longer intended for us, or simply seem more complicated to perform. This is why the presence of a teacher can be the best tool to guide you in the world of yoga, and to become a pro!

Indeed, it is important to note that some postures are not recommended after a certain age. Among these postures, we can notably mention all those that call for torsion, standing postures without support, or even muscular reinforcement, which are sensitive to destabilize the yogis in question. In this way, breathing exercises, lying down postures, or sitting exercises are preferred, but each one is different!

Because yes, practicing yoga is above all beneficial, which must be considered with regard to our state of health. It is a good way to develop your well-being capital and to make positive thinking and relaxation part of your daily life. So, shall we try it? There is no age to feel good!


How to choose a yoga teacher for seniors

A teacher is above all this figure of support, guide and almost tutor, who will help us to progress in our practice of yoga. In group classes or not, and whatever our age, we have a very specific body approach, which will partly define the way we practice yoga. Chaining, asanas, mind/body harmony, regular practice of meditation, it is a whole bunch of practices that will be learnt thanks to him.

He is the teacher, a professional in his field, who will know how to adapt his classes to his students. This is the reason why there are yoga classes only for seniors, which will give a much less fixed image of old age, much more evolutionary and dynamic. The point here is not to make our seniors practice incredible and impressive postures, but to say that the teacher can make us realize this.

Thus, whether one is 65 or 80 years old, yoga is learned, developed, in close correlation with the teacher, who proves to be the main figure of a class, between the leader and the one who listens to the expectations of his clients, in this case, his beginner yogis. Between two greetings in the sun, nothing beats a good and qualified teacher to guide us in the best possible way.

Yoga is therefore a sport, a practice adapted to everyone, but also a lifestyle which, if one is considered a senior, is totally accessible. You simply need to know how to adapt your practice, so that you can stay in shape according to your desires, your capacities and your objectives. This is what it takes to become a true professional of relaxation, and of listening to oneself and one's body. Yes, yoga is an art!