While the internet and TV are awash with young bendy people turning themselves into pretzels in the name of yoga, just let them be. Don’t try to compete or use them as an excuse for not taking up yoga. Especially when you are in the older age bracket.
While an older body isn’t as elastic as it once was, yoga certainly is. It expands to take in all ages and all shapes and sizes. Granted you might not be doing much more than stretching in the early stages of your practice, but never forget that yoga is simply a series of shapes you put your body into to make sure that both your body and the bits inside (think digestive system, reproductive system, brain, etc) are kept in the best condition possible.
Bending forwards stretches the back of your spine while giving your digestive system a good squeeze. Bending backward stretches your lungs and heart. It increases the space for breathing and loosens the shoulder blades. Twists give the spine and spinal cord a good squeeze and increase movement. Really it’s just common sense.
You might wonder what the balance poses do. Well, they make sure that you have a strong core and increase your gracefulness. Both will come in handy if ever you fall. Something that comes to us all.
Research has shown that yoga helps prevent falls in the elderly. But look at the picture they have used to illustrate the article. No wonder some older people are put off yoga!
Make sure when you join a class it is suitable for you and offers what you want to get out of it. You don’t want to find yourself turned into a pretzel when you just wanted to lie down with your legs up the wall. There are lots of classes and teachers out there. Find one that suits you.