Yoga is a practice that keeps us healthy on the inside and the outside. And can support us through all of our life stages, when approached in a mindful way. Which we think is one of the most beautiful things about yoga. While we can practice yoga throughout our entire life, the goals and benefits will change depending where in life you are.
The strong years – 20s-30s
Unlike lots of competitive sports, we often find yoga later in life. While you can of course practice earlier than your 20s, most of us came to this practice around then, or later. In these first few decades, yoga can be about strength and development. The body is very strong and healthy and can dive deep into more advanced physical poses and you should, it’s where you establish a base. Particularly things like inversions, which are a great way to nourish the body and promote healthy aging.
This is also the time to create the habits that will allow you to keep yoga in your life for years to come. This means limiting bad posture and injuries, by moving in a way that is beneficial and creates strength in the right areas.
The reflective years – 40s-50s
While your physical practice may see only little differences here, your energy and drive for those fiery sequences may shift slightly to a slower more peaceful and introspective energy. This means it’s a beautiful time to develop more of a mindful and meditative approach to your practice. It’s also a wonderful time to deepen your meditation practice or start one if you don’t have one already.
It’s a time to listen to your body and your energy levels and take the rest when you need it. But to also allow yourself to go deeper if that’s what feels right. If you’re in a place where you’re scaling back, perhaps you do more supported inversions and use props to support your practice. Things like stiffness and prolonged recovery time from injury can start to be an issue so again be mindful and look after injuries when they arise.
The balanced years – 60s, 70s, and beyond
During this time, it’s very important to maintain mobility and range of motion. And one of the most important areas to do this is in the spine. They say we are only as old as our spine and yoga can really benefit spinal health. Think forward bends and backbends. It’s also very important to listen to your body and be mindful if any physical issues have arisen and modify your practice accordingly. Chairs and props can be very helpful to scale your practice back and ensure safety.
We can take our yoga practice with us throughout life. And each of us will experience different shifts as life goes on, but what is most important is that you’re listening to your body. Do more when you have the energy and space and scale back when the body asks for it.