If you are in your middle age, yoga is the best form of preventive medicine you can invest in. And trust me, no one is too young or too old for yoga. From 8 to 80 years, unfit or unhealthy, just anyone can practice this art under the guidance of a well-trained teacher.
Children: 5 to 12
A growing number of children are bending to ‘downward dog’ and other tricky poses. Yoga for kids is a great way to improve their health and also educates them on handling stress and maintaining calm. Not just this, yoga will also help them focus better, develop social skills, learn forgiveness and build confidence. So sign up your kids for some overall development.
It’s the age of rebellion, of anger and sensitivity. The body’s chemistry is undergoing an immense change and yoga can help a great deal in easing the stress, keeping the mind and soul at peace. Yoga also helps teens improve their concentration, boost self-esteem and encourages mind and body connections.
The 20s and 30s
20s can often be depressing. You’re just out of college and forced to make a mark for yourself. And these are the foundation years for the rest of your life. Your diet, your workouts, your lifestyle will all have an impact at some point in your life. So do yoga seriously at this time, to have a free mind to achieve your goals and a strong body. Flexibility, focus, determination and improving mental clarity are all achieved through yoga.
It’s crucial for women to start yoga in these years if they haven’t been doing it because it strengthens and balances the reproductive cycle.
The 40s and 50s
This stage of life is about inner reflection. A more hectic 30s leads to a more settled feeling in the 40s and 50s. The unparalleled energy and enthusiasm of the earlier years morph into an energy that is more balanced, steady and reflective. Yoga postures are held for longer periods of time, integrating the mind, body and breath. In these years one begins to notice physical changes such as a slower metabolism, stiffer joints, back problems, and a longer recovery time after injury. For women, asanas for menopause and regulating the hormones and mood swings becomes important.
The 60s and Beyond
For many people, this is a time when life’s responsibilities may be easing up, you may be retired, your children are settled, you are traveling more, enjoying hobbies and slowing down the pace of your life. One may notice physical changes like more stiffness in the body, higher blood pressure, insomnia, arthritis and general aches and pains.
During these years it is important to maintain balance, range of motion and agility, improve blood circulation, keep the spine and joints healthy. This is the time to draw on the wisdom and knowledge gained from life experiences, and to create a practice that creates mental peace and calm, and supports physical and emotional health.
And, if you don’t do anything else, just breaaathheee...
Do Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – that is alternate Nostril Breathing.
(Based out of Mumbai, Radhika Vachani believes “Your Wellness is a Journey”. She is the founder of Yogacara – a Yoga institute dedicated to the legendary BKS Iyengar, whose student she was for 15+ years. Radhika quit her lucrative corporate job in San Francisco to devote her life to spreading awareness about the true meaning of Yoga)