Who thought sports are for the fit and young, and flexibility is something that basically disappears when one gets older? 

Starting something new is always tricky. People avoid change. And let’s just admit it, the longer you keep a routine the more likely you won’t break out of it.  So, how about starting yoga at the age of 62?!

‘Wow’? - ‘Oh no, surely not’? - ‘That’s brave’? Or maybe: ‘Yeah let’s just give it a try. What could possibly go wrong?’

What’s said that’s done. So, we’re off finding a suitable class, knowing this will be key to enjoying a great first yoga experience. Any beginner to any sport will be wondering if their skills are good enough, so it becomes important to start at the right level. Let’s pick a beginner’s yoga class. And isn’t it always nice to join likeminded people, who are quite similar to oneself or in this case in the same age group? I’m picturing the cool teenage boy from next door showing up to a swimming class for girls age ten…. the giggles would be endless on the girls’ end, but let’s not do this. 

So here we are, having selected a beginner’s level 60+ introduction to yoga class! 

But what to expect? I asked our brave 62-year-old newbie to yoga.

‘I am just wanting to give it a try without filling up my mind too much. Years ago, I once went for a Pilates class but what stopped me from getting into it was more the teacher than the sport itself. She wasn’t looking after each individual in the class and was mainly focusing on herself and presenting. So, I guess my only expectation today is more towards the yoga teacher who ideally offers some help and understands what it means to be a beginner.’

I also learn that she has the same concerns than others, wondering if it is even possible to learn yoga if you’re over 60. Can one ‘survive’ for 1.5h? She shares that she tried the downward dog, just to see what it feels like. And it was tough. Not doing any sports regularly, keeping herself fit with gardening she’s not sure if she leaves the class in pain, with sore muscles the next day or nothing at all.

But rumor has it, there aren’t even sore muscles the day after and the class was just perfect! Wanting to know how she would rate the difficulty on a scale from one to ten (one being very easy) I get to hear a three and to see a shoulder stand! I’m impressed. 

She rates asanas on the tummy lifting up the legs as most difficult. But loved the shoulder stand: ‘Impressive, fun and totally surprising. It worked! Thanks to the teacher who adjusted my body and then helped me up. Suddenly (and magically) my legs were in the air and I was able to hold the shoulder stand on my own.’ 

‘On a fun note, glancing around and comparing helps to challenge myself. And noticing I can keep up with others gave a good booster. Also, the teacher was simply great, finding a balance between correcting us and giving us room to try out. It helped me concentrate and to feel relaxed at the same time.’

And who thinks Shavasana is the easiest pose of all? Ranked with a 10 - most difficult – because being fully calm and relaxed can be a challenge in itself! And especially if half the class is fast asleep and snoring :D. Now please tell me again, that when growing old sleeping becomes an issue and falling asleep is nearly impossible. This yoga class proofed the statistics wrong and we love it.

Overall strength is needed to do yoga and especially the arms suffered. But flexibility is okay and even if it’s challenging in the beginning it can be worked on. Bottom line: muscles can grow and body can learn to bend, most important is, giving it a try. 

‘I was positively surprised to see that being over 60 is not an obstacle to get into yoga. It’s a matter of practice regardless of age.’

Here we come sweet sixties.

Yoga is for everyone.