By: Sheryl Woods | Vermont | July 2014
Yoga can bring peace, flexibility and improve well-being to boomers and seniors. Yoga classes are usually advertised by a different type of yoga. Learning a little about each one will help you choose the one that is at the appropriate level for you. If you have any doubt, ask your doctor before signing up for a yoga class.
The list below is not a complete list, but includes the ones you are most apt to encounter.
Ashtanga – You will do repetitions on 6 established and strenuous pose sequences. This class will help you lose weight and gain muscle definition and may include fast cardio sequences.
Bikram – This yoga is a little more strenuous than, say Hatha, but that’s because it’s done in a room where the heat is turned up to nearly 105 degrees and the humidity is almost 40 percent. If the heat and humidity bother you, this is NOT for you.
If you do join a yoga class, bring a towel and LOTS of water. Take breaks when you need to and wear minimal clothing. The upside? Working out in the heat makes muscles much more stretchable. You may finally be able to touch your toes!
Hatha – Hatha yoga’s gentle stretches increase flexibility and may work for weight control. Usually, these classes include basic and classical yoga breathing exercises and poses. You will leave feeling relaxed and peaceful.
Kripalu – this type of yoga has three parts where you’ll get to know your body, accept it and learn from it. You will learn postures, poses, and meditation. Classes may include discussing your self-discovery process with classmates.
Vinyasa – Great for beginners, this yoga, is a series of poses that will move you through the power of inhaling and exhaling. The poses are flowing, and almost dance-like movements and most boomers and seniors find this a very enjoyable form of yoga.
Ask your yoga studio if they allow free drop-in classes. That is the best way to find a yoga class that is right for you without dropping money on a series of classes that you aren’t going to attend after the first one.
Yoga is the perfect exercise for stretching, relaxing and meditating can soothe many illnesses, whether physical or spiritual.
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