Try Yoga!
Explore the physical and mental benefits of yoga and learn more about how you can get started.

Health & Well Being

Originating in ancient India, yoga is a practice that can stimulate both the body and mind and has the unique feature of being adaptable to all ages and skill levels. Combining exercises such as stretching, resistance, and deep breathing, yoga can be a way to stay physically active without the burden of excess equipment or years of training.

In addition to the many physical benefits of yoga, it can also provide a sense of relaxation and a feeling of being more in tune with your body and surroundings. Follow along as we dive into the mental and physical benefits of yoga and answer some common questions that can help you get started.

What are the benefits of yoga?

Seniors practicing yoga in a studio, focusing on breathing and balance.For those starting a wellness journey, a new exercise routine can represent a wide variety of goals and objectives. While some may seek to increase stamina or work up the energy to play with grandkids, others may simply be seeking an activity that helps them blow off steam or keeps their mind stimulated with a new challenge. One of the superpowers of yoga is that it can truly be the best of both worlds.

On a physical level, the primary benefits of yoga include improved body alignment, increased balance, and several unique benefits to cardiovascular health. According to the American Heart Association, studies suggest that practicing yoga may help reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and can even assist with alleviating the physical symptoms of stress. Like most exercises, consistency and proper technique are key. To get the most out of your yoga routine, it’s important to know your own body’s capabilities and recognize your physical limitations before you get started.

When it comes to the mental benefits of yoga, one of the most significant rewards is the increased attention toward your inner self and the improved focus that can come with meditation and introspection. Yoga is all about centering your mind and tuning out the noise of the world, which can feel especially rare in a world of screentime, busy schedules, and increased stress. Focusing your mind during a yoga session can help you feel more at ease with your personal surroundings and can work as an effective antidote to the pressures and anxiety of everyday life.

Who should try yoga?

Picture a yoga class in your mind. What do you see? If you’re imagining a room full of top-tier athletes and fitness professionals, you may be encouraged to hear that yoga is designed for every fitness level and body type. Your routine is yours to control and can be adjusted based on your personal flexibility, stamina, and comfort level. If you want to try yoga and are worried about your athletic ability or lack of experience — fear not! A little patience, bravery, and a positive attitude are all you need to get started.

What to consider if you have physical limitations

Seniors practicing chair yoga in a studio, using chairs for stability as they stretch one arm above their heads.As you dip your toe into any fitness routine, one of the first things you should take note of is your own physical limitations and how they can be accommodated within a new activity or hobby. If something feels uncomfortable or causes pain, take a step back, modify your approach, and give yourself a moment of grace. You know your body better than anyone else. Yoga routines can easily be adjusted to alter certain poses or stretches, so take a moment to work with your instructor if you think an accommodation is the right choice for you.

If getting down on the floor is completely outside of your comfort zone, there are alternatives to traditional yoga. Chair Yoga is a style that involves sitting down instead of stretching on the floor and is considered a gentler approach for those who have concerns about their mobility. Keep an eye out for a routine that feels right to you and that doesn’t overstep your personal comfort level.

How can beginners get started with yoga?

Two seniors on their way to practice yoga, carrying their mats and accessories outside.Thanks to the power of technology, getting started with yoga has never been easier. Websites like YouTube are a great resource for free instructional videos and classes, while other sources like YogaJournal.com provide educational content that can help you dive deeper into specific exercises or meditations.

If you’re someone who enjoys the community element of exercise, don’t be afraid to invite a friend to your local yoga studio. Beginner classes are available at almost any gym or location that offers yoga and can be a great way to meet new people and get tips from seasoned veterans.

Trying a new activity can seem intimidating at first, but a little practice can go a long way in terms of developing a healthier body and mind. Don’t forget to check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.