Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yoga for Seniors (Aging and Yoga)

Yoga for Seniors - Aging Well
 As the Baby-boomer and the Silent (Great Depression and WW2) generations age, there are more yoga classes that are suitable for seniors than ever before. 

My Gentle Class at Harmony Yoga, comprised mostly of students over age 60 (okay, I know a few are a little younger!), is currently my largest class, and overall has the most stable student base of all of my classes.   People who attend have discovered that the practice of yoga, done in a slow-paced, mindful way, has helped them remain healthier as they get older.

Many of my students in that class have mentioned that their joints feel better, they're stronger and more flexible, and feel better overall from attending yoga classes regularly.

If you're a Baby-boomer or older, and are looking for a way to keep your body and mind healthier as you age, consider trying out a class specifically with your age range in mind.

Class names might include:
  • Gentle Yoga
  • Seniors Yoga
  • Ageless Yoga
  • Chair Yoga
If you're already healthy and relatively fit, a general Beginning Level class may be fine for you as well.

Read Yoga for Seniors - Aging Well for benefits of yoga in seniors, tips for choosing a class, and suggested resources.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

We Have a Rope Wall Now

Rope-supported Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
This is the third week that we've had our ropes up at Harmony Yoga, and for the most part, people are enjoying their use.

As you can see in the photo to the left, a rope-supported downward facing dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) allows these students to more easily extend through their upper backs.

Suza Francina (not from Harmony Yoga!)

The photo of the woman (Suza Francina, an Iyengar Yoga teacher from California, who has written many good books and articles on yoga and aging) shows another great use for the ropes.  Hanging forward as she is doing is an excellent way to open the chest and create more mobility in the shoulders.

We don't start in such an extreme position until our shoulders are ready for it.  Most people have been starting much further away from the wall, to begin with, for a less intense stretch.

We've also used the ropes for extra stability while doing Utthita trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and Parivrrta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose).   We've discovered that besides given extra stability in both poses, the body comes into better alignment much more easily.