When I started drafting today’s blog post, I did what I always do: performed a Google search. Usually, most of the results are pretty to-the-point and lead me to great resources. Then…there are, shall we say, questionable returns:
So, I’ll go on record to say – in plain AF text – yoga after 40 will not kill you. In fact, it may very well add years to your life.
I’ve shared my yoga journey multiple times on the blog. At least one woman’s over-40 yoga journey has been covered (with many more to come in the future!). My story, her story, and countless of other Gen-X and older yogis’ stories have shown how a regular practice revitalizes your life. That claim can seem a touch overwhelming for those who are curious about starting, even restarting, a practice. What if the last time you did yoga, Queen Latifah was still a rapper? Or you’ve never done a downward dog a day in your life?
Let’s not get into the busyness of life, especially after the big 4-0. Work commitments seem to expand. If you have children, their schedules seem to override your own. You may have a role as caregiver to aging parents or loved ones at this stage in life. When in the hell are you going to find, not only the time to do yoga, but the motivation?
Here’s a few things to consider if you’re still on the fence about starting a yoga practice at your big grown age:
- The Body Benefits – Let’s face it: your body doesn’t move like it did in the early 90s – and that’s not shade. Why should you expect it to? You’ve been living in your body for four decades or longer. It’s natural for it to have some wear on it. A yoga practice not only helps strengthen your muscles (hello side planks & chaturangas!), but it’s great for bone health – an especially real concern for women as we approach our 50s and beyond. Beyond the muscles, yoga regulates blood pressure and improves heart rate.
(That alone should get your New Kids On The Block-loving ass on the mat, but in the words of your favorite 80s infomercials: WAIT! THERE’S MORE…)
- The Mood Uplifter – Is it just me or are you finding that your irritability comes faster and way more furious? Good to know I’m not alone! After being diagnosed with perimenopause shortly after my 40th birthday, I noticed an uptick in my ability to get pissed off faster than usual. Maintaining a daily yoga practice has helped me regulate my mood swings and I have science to thank for that. According to Harvard Health, “…[yoga] can affect mood by elevating levels of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is associated with better mood and decreased anxiety.”
- The Mind Sharpener – When I do yoga first thing in the morning (especially before heading out for a busier day than usual), I get work done efficiently & feel focused throughout my workday. That’s no coincidence; in that same article, Harvard Health contends: “Yoga strengthens parts of the brain that play a key role in memory, attention, awareness, thought, and language. Think of it as weightlifting for the brain.” Weightlifting for the brain – I dig that!
Okay, on to today’s practice:
The Instructor: Brett Larkin
The Practice: Beginning AM Yoga (>20 minutes)
If you know yoga, you know who Brett Larkin is. Her award-winning YouTube channel is one of the most popular yoga channels on the platform with over half a million followers. This session, geared for women over 40, is specially designed for beginners. With an emphasis on bone alignment and muscle strength, this practice provides a good basis for a regular practice in under twenty minutes.
See you on the mat tomorrow!
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