December 6, 2014

Best Beginner Yoga Types for Women Over 50

Yoga is an excellent exercise for women over 50 because it relieves stress, increases flexibility and helps alleviate joint pain. The gentle poses and meditative aspects are rejuvenating to older bodies and minds. As someone with Lupus, this is the aspect that makes yoga appeal to me. Yoga classes are available in most locations, and many of the best teachers have DVD's that can be used at home. I love practicing yoga at home because it doesn't take much room and doesn't require any special equipment, so it's excellent for those like me with smaller living spaces on limited budgets. 

Rodney Yee's Yoga for Beginners DVD 

There are several types of yoga. Each is geared to a different level of fitness. These four types are excellent for women over 50 who are just getting back into the fitness lifestyle, as well as those with disabilities or physical challenges such as arthritis.

Ananda - A Classic Yoga for Harmony
Ananda yoga is designed to bring harmony to your physical, mental and spiritual being by integrating classic postures, breathing and energy control with meditation. It is unique in its use of asana affirmations and energization exercises, where each posture is paired with an affirmation. It works well for women who are less flexible and less athletic, or those who have sedentary lifestyles.

Anusara - As Individual as the Student
Anusara yoga has become one of the most respected schools of hatha yoga. It combines Universal Principles of Alignment with a philosophy of intrinsic goodness. Each level celebrates the practitioner's individual talents, differences and limitations. Anusara is recommended for less flexible, older women or those who have been injured.

Integral - The Best of All Worlds

Integral yoga combines parts of the Hatha, Raja, Bhakti, Karma, Jnana and Japa yoga disciplines to become a total lifestyle system. It seeks to create harmony with each aspect of the being by using postures, breath control, diet, and meditation. Integral yoga is recommended for beginners and women who are less flexible or older.

Sivananda - Flexibility for All Levels of Student

Sivananda yoga is the type that was introduced by Swami Vishnu-Devananda in 1960 in his book, The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga. It is unlike other yoga types in that it follows an order and is based on Five Points of Yoga; proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet and positive thinking and meditation. Instructors often add or teach variations of poses for each student's level of experience. Part of the main teachings is vegetarianism, but it isn't a requirement. Sivananda is suitable for women of any age, lifestyle or fitness level.

Whichever type of yoga your choose, it's a great gateway to more strenuous types of exercise down the road if that's what you're working toward. Some find that yoga is all they really need


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