Taking up Yoga for beginners over 60, 70 and even 80 is definitely possible if you have a positive unhurried attitude. The practice of Yoga is all about deep breathing and relaxing into very gentle stretching poses. The regular gentle practice of Yoga will make you feel younger, more flexible and taller.
All you need is a Yoga mat or a suitable chair to do the gentle poses. You don’t even need to attend classes. You can practice in your own home environment and it doesn’t need to cost you a cent.
Yoga Beginners Over 60 Are Cool
The thing I love most about yoga is that you can start it at any stage of your life!
I know this to be true because I had my first chance to take up Yoga way back in the 70s when I was in my 30s.
At that time I became friends with a guy that was teaching Yoga to the wives of miners living in Papua New Guinea. He actually offered me free lessons in the hope that it would encourage other males to join his classes.
But I foolishly deemed it too girlie a pastime to take up. I was much more interested in scuba diving the coral reefs and trekking the hot sweaty jungles of New Guinea.
The notion of joining a girls Yoga class just didn’t appeal to me at that time in my life.
But Hey! The years roll on! and I now realize that perhaps I’m a slow learner. So what! The important thing is that in the end I did discover the benefits of Yoga at the age of 70 and I’m loving it!
Yoga Beginners Over 70 Are Cooler
Yoga for beginners over 70 is my new reality and that’s cool
I discovered yoga only last year whilst on a touring holiday in India.
My wife and I have been to India a number of times. But on this last trip we were visiting the ‘Golden Triangle’ area. This is a tourist round trip encompassing New Delhi, Jodhpur, Jaipur and Agra. We also visited the Pushkar camel fair, which we’d heard about while we were in Jodhpur.
We are independant lone travelers, because that’s the way that we’ve always done it. We don’t choose to travel with tour groups mainly because we like to use public transport, In particular we like to travel by train.
Traveling as independent travelers gives us the freedom to go anywhere we please at any time we like. Most of the time this works well for us, though at times we have ended up in some very strange worrying places devoid of any interest. But that’s travel as we know it!
Jaipur – The Not So Pink City
It was while we were in Jaipur, the renowned Pink city which as it turns out tends to be more of a brown city. But it’s still a fascinating historic place to visit.
We stayed at The Hotel HR Palace which was a short Tuk Tuk ride from the old city gates.
It was here that we noticed that our hotel gave free rooftop Yoga lessons at 6am. This sounded very appealing, so we set the alarm and got up early for our very first Yoga lesson.
We warily wandered up the stairs to the rooftop. Our Yoga guru was already waiting for us. He was actually standing on his head doing his own Yoga practice as he wasn’t expecting anyone to turn up. He was very friendly and pleased to see us and show us through some basic beginners poses.
I found that I was very stiff and not at all flexible. But I pressed on with the help of Dilip (the yoga guru). Dilip told us that he had suffered from a range of health problems and was advised by his doctor to take up Yoga. That was 5 years ago and since then ALL his ailments had cleared up.
We attended his morning lessons for the next 3 days. It’s amazes me that no other guests at the Hotel HR Palace, which is a large hotel, could find the time to turn up for the free yoga lessons.
This was good for us because it meant that we both had 3 private Yoga lessons for free. And boy did we feel good after each lesson! So much better that we decided that Yoga was for us and we committed to having as many Yoga lessons that we could get during our 20 days left that we had left in India.
Of course, we were complete beginners and our Guru was very careful not to overtax our ancient frames. I can be a little competitive which isn’t such a good quality when I’m trying my best not to break anything. So he calmed me down by telling me to focus on my breadth and gently ease into the poses.
Rishikesh – Yoga Central
And so it was that we headed into the hills of Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalaya. This is where the Beatles and other celebrities hung out in the early 70s
We booked into a boutique hotel run by Spanish monks/nuns, which sounded really odd but they had great reviews. So using booking.com we booked our 3 day stay online.
What we didn’t realize that our hotel was an Ashram and also provided Yoga and meditation lessons. So for us, it was like hitting the jackpot. Not only were we enjoying amazingly good food, but we were also enjoying morning Yoga and Meditation.
So we extended our stay for another 5 days and thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Ganga Vatika Boutique Hotel and the city of Rishikesh.
Unfortunately the hotel website is not up to scratch, so check out Ganga Vatika Hotel on Booking.com
So now we had about 10 yoga lessons under our belt and we were now making our way back to New Delhi and onto Kerela.
Kerela – The Heat And Humidity
Normally we are very active when we arrive in a new place, we just want to go everywhere and see every thing. But, Oh it was so hot and sweaty, we were just not prepared for the heat in Kerela.
It was especially hot and humid because there was a Typhoon heading for the southern tip of India.
The Typhoon was bringing a big surf onto the beaches and lots of rain and storms at night. But during the day it was just too hot to be too active. So we just enjoyed the beaches and had a 5 day rest.
Our Hotel was very basic, but it was quiet and we also had free Yoga lessons on the rooftop. So we were able to enjoy 4 free Yoga lessons at 7am before breakfast.
This is were we met a Dutch couple who were both in their mid 70s. They had visited this same hotel 5 years previously, at this time they were both suffering from arthritis. But luckily for them they discovered that Yoga could help them with their health problems. Since then they have practiced their Yoga every morning at home in Holland. They have returned to the hotel every 6 months for a two week Yoga brush up. Their efforts have paid off because you wouldn’t believe how flexible and active this couple is now. They are truly amazing and inspiring!
All Good Things Come To An End
All good things come to an end and so we returned home. We’d enjoyed an amazing trip to India and we’d discovered the benefits and basics of Yoga.
I soon wanted to continue with local Yoga lessons, but alas they were free no more! In fact the group lessons ranged from $15 to $25 casual rates. An alternative was to pre-book a bunch of lessons that brought the cost down a little.
These group lessons had on average 20 students and one teacher. This means that there isn’t any individual body alignment instructions. You basically are on your own and you need to follow the class instructions as best as you can. Alternatively you pay for individual private lessons which were upwards of $60 per lesson.
Yoga For Seniors – YouTube Videos
YouTube Yoga videos for beginners over 60 are plentiful and some of them are very good.
Often these videos are careful to provide very detailed descriptions of body alignments. It’s particularly important for us seniors to be mindful of the alignment of our bodies as we attempt any pose. Otherwise something nasty can easily happen.
So you go to YouTube and search for any of the following search terms and I’m sure that you’ll find what you are looking for:
- Yoga For Seniors
- Yoga for beginners over 60
- Gentle Yoga for beginners over 70
- Yoga for over 60s
- Gentle Yoga
- Seated Yoga
- Or whatever Yoga you want
Below are a few of my Favorites:
1. Basic Yoga Workout For Dummies
This is one of my favorites.
These Yoga for Dummies are exceptionally good videos with respect to their clarity and pose alignment explanations.
This is a completely free program of 6 videos covering the basics.
2. Yoga for Seniors Gentle Flow
This full 33-minute gentle yoga class is designed just for seniors, beginners and anyone else who feels like they need a little extra attention.
Relax and reconnect with your essential self. You deserve this!
3. Relaxing Yoga for Seniors Practice
In this simple yoga video for older adults, they address one of the most common complaints as we get a little older. That is lower back pain and stiffness. Take care and focus on your lower back.
4. Sun Salutations For Seniors
This is my favorite exercise, Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations).
I first saw this performed in Kerela by the Dutch couple that we met at the rooftop Yoga lesson. That was 3 months ago and I’m still trying to perfect the sequence of movements.
At first, I couldn’t even touch my toes. But, after practicing 3 rounds daily I can now almost put my hand flat to the mat with a slight bend at the knees.
I take care to do a short warm-up before I practice this every morning.
YOGA MATS – One thing you’ll notice is that all the Yoga practitioners in the above videos are using Yoga mats.
So are Yoga mats essential equipment for an enjoyable experience? Well no they aren’t absolutely essential! But you’ll feel more confident and a lot safer practicing your Yoga on a soft padded non-slip surface.
There’s also an almost spiritual process of rolling the mat out and stepping on to it. I know that once I step onto my own mat I fall almost immediately into a meditative state. It’s a feeling of being totally ready, this is now my practice time and I’m about to enjoy the experience.
What Is The Best Yoga Mat For beginners?
If you choose to go to a Yoga studio then you probably won’t need to buy a mat initially. This is because most studios can provide a mat to casual new students. Bear in mind that these mats will have been used by many people previously and they can be a little tacky.
However if you are practicing at home you’ll be needing a mat. Some people say you can use a towel, or they say that you can simply use a carpet, which is true. Both provide a level of padding, but we seniors need the best possible padding to ensure that we don’t harm something. it’s also been my own experience that towels can be a trip hazard and carpets can be very slippery.
So take care, even better, just go and buy a Yoga mat, because the best yoga mat for seniors is not a carpet or a towel. It’s a properly designed non-slip Yoga mat that can be used on any type of floor.
Yoga mats are designed to grip the floor and provide a non-slip surface for you to work on. They come in a range of colours, thicknesses and lengths.
The standard mat length is 173cm. which is an OK length for most people. But if you are a taller person then you’ll be better served with a mat of 183cm, or 72 inches.
The first mat I bought was only 173cm x 3mm long and I was forever going off the end during my practice. This was more annoying than dangerous and so I decided to buy a slightly longer and thicker, more comfortable mat.
The mat I now use is made from TPE foam 183cm x 5mm thick and cost about $30. I’m 185cm tall and I find this mat suits me perfectly.
Buying yourself a suitable mat that pleases you in colour, texture, thickness and length will give you the confidence to enjoy the pleasure that your Yoga practice will give you.
So don’t hold back, get yourself an non-slip mat and become one of the thousands of yoga beginners over 60!