Yoga is a great callisthenic exercise for everyone. By performing yoga you can improve your mental and physical health, have fun, meet new people, and generally better your life. What’s more, yoga’s extreme popularity means that it’s more accessible than ever, with many gyms offering a wide variety of cheap yoga classes for people of all levels of ability. This makes it a great exercise for people over fifty.
There are countless varieties of yoga. Some focus on the meditation aspects, others help to build physical strength, others develop endurance, others increase flexibility, and yet others help in losing weight. All yoga will help you to de-stress, get stronger, more flexible, lose weight, and increase endurance, of course. But different types of yoga make different goals a priority. Today we will explore how these types of yoga will benefit you.
Hatha Yoga is the best place for beginners. The class will start off at a much slower place and go through the basics with you. You will be allowed to take your time to get into poses, and hold them as long as you are comfortable. The instructors don’t expect you to know much at all, and they will go through the basics nearly every class. You will have plenty of opportunity to socialize with other beginner yogis and with the instructor. This relaxed approach is also great for people with physical ailments or with deteriorating memory for that reason, so you might find that even after a few months or years you want to stay with your class.
Kundalini Yoga focuses strongly on the meditation aspects of yoga. If your bigger concerns are feeling stressed and worrying about everyday matters, this type of yoga, combining its exercise with chanting, breath work, and meditation, helps you to work through your thoughts and emotions, leaving you refreshed.
If you want to build strength and endurance, try out Vinyasa Yoga. Vinyasa is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re already confident with your yoga, or if you practice aerobic activities regularly, you might find it’s more your style. You take challenging poses that change quickly, building your muscles and working up a sweat. Sometimes this is done to the tune of pumping gym music. This type of yoga is enjoyed by Indian Bodybuilders, so you know what you’re getting into.
Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga are more for people looking for a challenge, but also great for weight loss. By combining yoga with a hot, steamy room, they keep you sweating and working until the very end. The sessions are usually quite long, too. If your health isn’t great, these types of yoga might be far too much for you, but if you’re generally very fit they might be just the challenge you need. Bikram focuses on the same routine each lesson, making it simpler, but Hot Yoga is more fun for people who don’t like the constraints of routine.
If you’re looking to build up your flexibility, Yin Yoga is the right choice for you. In Yin Yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time, encouraging your tendons to stretch, building up their elasticity. If you suffer from joint problems, this yoga style may not be right for you. But if your joints are strong and you need to get more flexible, then it might be perfect. Some Yin Yoga classes focus on meditation, whilst others allow chatting, so feel free to check which type yours is!
For people with injuries, Iyengar Yoga is especially forgiving. In Iyengar Yoga you are encouraged to learn about your body and treat it gently and carefully. You are given a wide range of props, so there is little risk of falling, or of damaging an old injury. You hold each pose for a while, but they’re so gentle it will not be much of a problem. Be sure to talk to your doctor about it first, but if you have physical ailments, this might be the yoga for you.
And that is our selection of yoga types for people over the age of fifty. As you can see, there is a rich variety of yoga options, catering to all sorts of needs. So whether you’re a gym rat or a beginner, it is worth it to give yoga a go.