It’s no secret that yoga has benefits for both the body and the mind such as reducing heart rate, blood pressure, back pain and helping anxiety and depression. According to this article from The Washington Post, there is actually a possibility of positive changes in biological markers of aging and stress in people who practice yoga. According to the article, 17% of people who practice yoga in the US are in their 50’s and 21% are aged 60 or older!
Of course, anyone with any health concerns should check with a doctor before starting yoga, to make sure there are no medical contraindications and no risk of injury. It is important that you seek out an experienced, well trained instructor as safety considerations are always important when working with specific age groups who are more likely to have certain chronic conditions.
If you are looking to take up yoga and have chronic conditions like arthritis, high blood pressure or heart disease, you might want to start with gentle yoga or beginner’s yoga. Work your way up to more complicated poses, if and when you are ready. Work with an instructor who will ensure you only do the poses you are actually capable of doing. It’s not a race!
In other news, the world’s oldest yoga instructor is 99 years old. She spent 17 years under the tutelage of B.K.S. Iyengar and went on to learn from K. Pattabhi Jois, the yogi who popularized Ashtanga yoga.