Yoga is Ageless

mom and baby doing yoga
Photo by Auteurian

Yoga is for all ages. From babies to children from adults to elderly, the practice of yoga appeals to all ages and all shapes and sizes. Though commonly thought of as a fad for the 20-40 set, the practice of yoga covers all ends of the spectrum.

As if to prove my point, my three-year-old daughter, bored with me, turned and walked into the center of the room. There she moved her body, on the hard wood floor (sans mat or special clothing!!), into a picture perfect plank pose. I kept watching, though carefully, she is not one to be the center of attention. From plank pose she slid forward over her wrists into urdhva mukha svanasana (upward facing dog), then back seamlessly into adho mukha svanasana (downward facing dog). Now with her back to me and her head looking my way, she caught my gaze and raised one leg high in the air and let out a “woof.” “Pee pee doggy,” she said with a giggle, got up, and walked up the stairs. It was over almost as quickly as it began. My child was practicing asana.

This is not an uncommon occurrence at our house where yoga is part of our everyday lives. Twice a year for six weeks, the girls (3 and 6) attend kids yoga classes at the local yoga studio and the rest of the time they practice with DVDs, books and general observation of Mom. We chant before our meals, and meditate together often. I volunteer in my six-year-old daughter’s first grade class teaching yoga once a month. What might have seemed taboo to many of us as children is becoming accepted and even welcomed among teachers and parents alike.

The same is true for the over 60 population. Research is proving that movement activities like yoga are essential for mobility and health as we age. And though many older people have laughed at the thought of yoga in the past, many of these same doubters now attend classes weekly. There is research to support that yoga significantly increases balance and stability for those over 65, and in Lincoln, NB, Alzheimer’s patients are enjoying an improved quality of life thanks to the addition of yoga asana into their routine.

When my mother retired ten years ago, she started doing yoga for the first time. In the time since, she has utilized the practice to gain more strength and balance and to assist in recovery from a stroke. She says “the euphoric feeling that I have after practicing yoga is well worth any effort it takes for me to get to class.” And for a population that is faced with the ongoing challenges associated with aging, Yoga might very well be a salve not only for the body, but for the mind as well.

To find a yoga class for kids or seniors, check the schedules of the local studios. Gentle and restorative yoga are great places to begin if you are over 60 and trying yoga for the first time, but don’t limit yourself! Kids yoga and movement classes are becoming more and more prevalent as well. If your studio doesn’t offer any, contact your local recreation center or gym and express an interest! Kids in adult classes is not an ideal, so if no classes are offered in your area, try a DVD like YogaKids or Little Yogis and there are a variety of books for kids as well.

Comments 4

  1. I completely agree. At age 58, I have just started my yoga studies, and find that with each practice I am getting stronger and more confident with my body and my sense of self. It’s hard work, but so worth every ounce of effort, as my body feels like I’ve had a full body massage and I feel younger than ever!

  2. I comment to my students all the time that yogo is functional training for everyday life, just as athletes train for their specific sport, everyday folks may prevent injury when stepping in an unseen hole, or can reach for something on a high shelf or bend to reach something on a low shelf, balance or catch themselves from falling because of a regular yoga practice. What better way to releive a stressfull situation then deep breathing. Yoga, thank goodness for yoga!!

  3. Blossom at any age: I was never really sure what I wanted to accomplish out of my life with the exception of being a wife and a mother as well as a loyal friend surrounded by good people. Through my yoga practice the last 4 years a lot of things have risen to the surface. with each breath I take I am truly inspired by all that life has to offer. I learned to cultivate great relationships, try not to be disappointed in those I thought were true people and I learned that I can and will continue to blossom as a person. when it is said that a person who believes in themself can know no limitations it holds very true. From this inspiration a business was born..I developed to embrace my vision of beauty and function all wrapped up in one. My yoga sling bags were created out of necessity and the need to continue to be surrounded by beautiful things. May we all be surrounded by love and beauty . My web site is the culmination of my growth through yoga.

  4. I agree, you can start at any age. In my yoga class that I attend, there is a wonderful 68 year old man who is just getting started and I love to watch him practice, he is an inspiration.

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