Aerial, hot, paddleboard – our appetite for yoga shows no signs of going away, but you’d be forgiven for sometimes getting the impression that it’s just for trendy twenties in swanky gear.
The truth is, yoga’s been around for about 5,000 years and people practise it for a wide variety of reasons, from relaxation and getting in touch with their spiritual side to fitness and injury rehabilitation.
It’s never too late to get yogic, or to take your yoga to a new level. The experts agree it’s a highly safe and effective way to increase your physical activity and improve your strength, flexibility and balance.
Namaste, we say!
30s WHAT’S GOING ON? A lot! There are often many massively challenging life changes including pregnancy, babies and children, for our bodies to contend with. We might be climbing the career ladder fast too, spending too many hours hunched over our laptops, cramming in a sandwich at lunch, and leaving precious little time for general relaxation.
Yoga expert Danielle Collins (faceyogaexpert.com ) says that as our thirties are so busy and demanding on our bodies, yoga can help to support and protect our backs. She says, “taking some time each day to do a few back stretches will mean that your back will be healthy for years to come.”
Must do pose
Danielle says, “the Cobra pose is a great posture to stretch the lower back muscles and open the shoulders, therefore correcting the slumped-over slouch we may be adopting in our daily lives.”
Type of yoga?
Vinyasa yoga. Yoga expert Alice Asquith (asquithlondon.com) tells us, “Vinyasa is the Sanskrit word for “flow”, and classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. Vinyasa teachers choreograph their classes to smoothly transition from pose to pose, and often play music to keep things lively. No two vinyasa classes are the same.”
40s What’s going on?
The juggling of work/babies/life continues. We want to be all things to all people and our bodies can really feel the strain. Recent research has shown that this is the age group of women turning to a little too much wine in the evenings – trying to cope with the pressures of a household, relationships and raising a family can begin to take its toll.
Danielle says, “Yoga should be something which helps us to feel more relaxed and centreed as well as boosting our energy.”
Must do pose
Danielle suggests, “Downward Facing Dog is a great pose to bring fresh blood and oxygen to the head which will give us a sense of vitality, as well as stretching and releasing tight hamstrings and the lower back.”
Type of yoga?
Hatha yoga. This is both calming and energising. Alice explains, “When a class is marketed as hatha, it generally means that you will get a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga postures. You probably won’t work up a sweat in a hatha yoga class, but you should leave class feeling longer, looser, and more relaxed.”
50s What’s going on?
We know that we’ll have to work until well into our 60s, so our careers remain a priority, yet there are changes going on hormonally and physically that can make us feel less like ourselves. So while most of us remain as busy as ever, the odd niggle physically becomes increasingly likely.
“Yoga can help us to accept these changes and to balance our hormones. It can also help joints to remain supple and improve circulation, which is beneficial in our fifties and beyond,” says Danielle.
Danielle advises, “a Twist pose can help to detox, balance and relax, as well as improve energy and circulation.”
Type of yoga
Iyengar yoga. This is a highly meticulous style of yoga, with the utmost attention paid to finding the proper alignment in a pose. Alice says, “in order to help each student find the proper alignment, a Iyengar studio will stock a wide array of equipment including blocks, blankets, straps and chairs.”
NEW IN YOGA
Fierce Grace (fiercegrace.com) is a radically new system of five interconnected hot power yoga classes. Founder Michele Pernetta says, “Combining hot yoga types allows the joints to stay healthy by stretching and opening the joint, creating traction in the spine and avoiding bad backs, aching joints and damaged knees. It also improves circulation and keeps us feeling full of energy.