Wisdom Yoga Advice for Seniors and Maintaining a Practice as...

Yoga Advice for Seniors and Maintaining a Practice as You Age


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In our new advice column, Wolf Terry, a Bhakti Yoga teacher and writer in Denver, Colorado, answers your pressing questions about practicing asana, meditation, mantra, and more. In this post, she covers senior yoga, how to stay active as you age, and how to injury-proof your practice, 


Dear Wolf, are there specialized precautions for people over 65? I don’t want to do chair or sedentary yoga. It seems to me that yoga classes are geared toward the younger crowd. I can pretty much keep up with the class, but I end up feeling quite sore (sometimes it’s painful). What should I avoid? What should I look for short of doing a senior class? I have asked a few teachers but they all say “do what your body can do.”

Sincerely, Over 70

Dear Over 70, this practice is for everybody. No matter how old we are, some days we may benefit from sitting and breathing more than moving and sweating. When teachers tailor their classes to a specific “set,” they miss opportunities to strengthen their teaching skills and cheer on and empower a diverse group of students. Please go find a teacher who is excited to help you with your practice, preferably someone who is an alignment nerd. Ask how much they charge for a private class, or even just share with them what you’ve shared with me—chances are they’d love to walk you through anything you’re struggling with, free of charge. Keep up your practice. If you don’t have many options near you and you can’t find a teacher who fits your needs, do not let that deter you. Classes of all levels can be found online and at community gyms.

See also Age Better With Yoga

When you’re in class, if you’re comfortable being touched, ask for adjustments—a good teacher will be able to cue others while safely providing hands-on assists tailored to your body. Otherwise, most seasoned teachers will happily cue the whole class to fit your needs without making you feel singled out. If none of that works for you, cultivate your home practice. There are so many incredible resources at your fingertips (apps, the internet, and this YJ issue, for instance!).

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