More Strong is the New Skinny—thank you again for this opportunity, Becca DuVal!
I am no fitness expert, but for my money yoga might just be the best all-round exercise programs for people of any age. If not the best, it certainly ranks right up there.
I was slow to embrace yoga. Remember, running was more my style when I was younger. Frankly, it was hard to me to be “still and quiet” during my practice. I like to make most group experiences social opportunities, so not talking for an over an hour in a room full of people was ummm, challenging?
I think if you are open to new information and experiences, you actually DO get wiser as you get older. Now, yoga is a core part of my workout routine, and if I miss a practice or two, my body starts talking back to me. Complaining, actually. The older you get, the more you need to work on flexibility, balance and strength—all core components of yoga. I never used to have any difficulty with balance, but I am just not as steady on my feet as I was when I was younger. Almost everyone needs to improve their flexibility, and the wonderful stretching and gentle encouragement from instructors to press/push/pull a little more promotes openness in your muscles and joints.
Oh, geez. My right foot position is not right in this pose. Better work on that. I love that “workouts” are called “practices” in yoga. Definitely reduces the perfectionist pressure. 😉 One thing I would recommend is that you take yoga classes with a good instructor for a while instead of attempting it on your own with a DVD. It is really helpful to have a trained instructor check on your poses and offer advice to correct your alignment. I still do the vast, vast majority of my yoga practice in a class with an instructor. You can talk AFTER class, you know! 🙂
If you read my strength-training post the other day, I mentioned I have osteoarthritis in my hands, so that means I have to be careful about too many weight-bearing poses on my hands. It definitely bums me out that down dog is mostly out for me, but I alternate with some down puppy and cat-cow poses, and occasionally sneak in a down dog just because it feels so good. I was trying out the same new workout top, Jalie 2444 and pants, and the top is as great for yoga as strength training. Yay for dual-purpose clothing!
Similar to swimming, yoga is one of those regimes that works for people of most ages and abilities. There are even instructors who have developed postures that work for people with pretty severe medical issues, so even if you have some challenges, you might be able to figure out a way to make yoga work for you. And I just love how stretched and toned I feel after a good yoga practice.