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Natural Awakenings

Tips for Getting Started with Yoga

Aug 31, 2022 09:30AM ● By Beth Spindler
Older person sitting down in yoga pose with legs stretched out, touching toes with one hand while other hand is propped behind

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A regular yoga practice can support better sleep habits, improve flexibility, increase energy and reduce chronic pain. Do some homework and choose an appropriate class rather than showing up at the local fitness center and hoping to land in the right one.

• Keep it gentle and slow when diagnosed with low bone density or a back, knee or hip condition. Look for a slower-paced class with a well-trained teacher or yoga therapist that can provide a variety of options. Not every yoga teacher is trained to address osteoporosis, joint replacement or overall muscle stiffness. In a live class, a well-trained teacher can watch for unhealthy knee placement or will notice if someone is holding their breath in a pose.

• Classes are not always billed as “Yoga Over 50” or “Senior” classes. They may be called “Gentle Yoga” or “Yoga Basics,” and participants certainly do not have to be of a certain age to benefit from a deliberate and slower-paced approach. Call local yoga studios to inquire about classes that involve longer warm-ups and a less-intense physical practice.

• Warm-ups are probably the most important part of a practice, especially for a more mature body; stiffer joints may take more time to relax, and a fast-paced class is less likely to offer that. Make sure to do warm-ups as part of a home practice, too.


Beth Spindler, author of Yoga Therapy for Fear, is a featured presenter for Yoga International, leads retreats worldwide and has more than four decades of experience using yoga as a healing modality.

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