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Have you been thinking about yoga for years but never quite made it to a class?

Have you been contemplating joining a class but always able to convince yourself you don’t have time or aren’t flexible enough?

Well, let’s change that.

Here are 8 rather significant reasons why you should start practicing yoga now. Most people get addicted to yoga once they jump in and start, so this could be your year to get on the mat!

 

Let’s dive into the yoga facts that may just convince you that you can’t afford not to start practicing Yoga.

reasons why your not too old to start practicing yoga

 

 

1. Yoga is very cost effective.

Ask yourself how much you spend on treatments that cost between $100-$150 per session. Whilst whatever you are doing might feel good at the time, it’s expensive and we’re living in some tough economic times. Yoga, on the other hand, makes good economic sense. A yoga class is $25 for 1.25 hours of self-care where the effects are long term. To find out what the other amazing benefits to start practicing yoga are, read on!!

 

2. Yoga helps us to age gracefully.

Whilst we cannot turn back the clock, we can make the best of what our bodies can offer us as the years tick by. Studies show yoga is good for our telomeres – that’s a fancy way of saying that the ends of our cells show less wear and tear when we practice Yoga. Research shows this is linked to better health outcomes. Yoga mitigates many of the lifestyle challenges we face in modern life, helping us make healthier choices. This is at the heart of many of the benefits that are listed below.

 

 

3. We all crave good mental health…

but life gets in the way. The mainstream media constantly reminds us we’re in a mental health crisis with support services overstretched. Enter yoga to the rescue!! This ancient mind body practice has a wealth of good quality research backing up the fact yoga improves our mood, decreasing stress and anxiety. Studies show most people come to yoga for the physical benefits, but later report continuing to practice yoga for the mental health benefits. Read more about Yoga and Mental Health which is a speciality area for me as a Yoga Therapist.

 

4. A regular yoga practice boosts your energy.

The day to day demands and overstimulation of our nervous system, plus not enough good quality rest, mean most of us are chronically fatigued. Better energy is generally not something that people associate with yoga. But most notice an energy increase once they engage in regular yoga practice . Yoga down regulates our system inviting us to slow down and breathe more efficiently. This supports the flow of prana as we call it in yoga science. All well rounded yoga classes have a restorative component. Most commonly it is “the bit at the end’’ where we lie down and feel a stream of both energy and relaxation at the same time. Again, this is such a common yoga experience that the ancient yoga’s had a name for this; “sattva” or a balanced state. Just like baby bear not too hot, not too cold just right,  this just right state leads to more energy!

 

5. Yoga promotes Joint and soft tissue health.

It’s just a fact that the aging process tends to reduce our body’s capacity for fluid, well-oiled movement. Some of this is due to the inevitable cellular and tissue related changes that are a natural result of the getting older. But, we can keep things at bay and even improve the way we move with regular movement that gently challenges us. Most of us sit too much and have forgotten how to create appropriate challenge to our fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that holds everything together and gives the body a resilient and integrated way of moving well. Walking is great but it doesn’t create challenge to the joints and soft tissues. ‘Integrated’ movement is what our body needs to age well. When we move in yoga and Feldenkrais we move in novel – non habitual ways that create a demand to the joints and connective tissues. This is what brings the benefits. The joints and fascia hydrate and structural changes are created. This means we can ask more of the body as we move through our day; moving with fluidity, less pain and strain and even enjoying movement challenges.

 

6. Healthier relationship with the “self’.

Yoga helps us develop an awareness of who we are. It can bring awareness of our habits, patterns and how we can experience more choice in relation to the inevitable challenges that life brings us. Through the process of self-observation and reflection that occur on the Yoga mat, we start to get more sense of being comfortable in our own skin off the mat . This sense of internal ease helps us the ride the waves of life. We can begin to see the bigger picture that is reflected in this ever-changing journey. This relationship with our self is primal and needs to be tended like any other friendship in life. Perhaps, the relationship with the self is the most challenging of all. A good place to start, however, is to plant seeds of self-acceptance and clarity and let this flow to others in our life. It’s complicated this self-knowledge stuff, but one that slowly evolves over time as we mature into the connection with something larger than our minds and egos.

 

7. Peace of mind and contentment.

This one relates to the connection with self and is one of my most treasured side effects of a long-term Yoga practice. The nature of the human mind is to grasp and cling to wanting things to be a certain way. The modern world with all its images of what happiness and life satisfaction mean feed into this cycle and make us suffer in our never-ending search for happiness. When we stop, pause and learn how to untangle and quiet our frenzied minds, we can discover a whole new world of joy, peace and gratitude that lay in front of our eyes at every moment.

 

8. Yoga mat as a refuge.

Finally, the regular time on the Yoga mat is like a refuge. We can pause, observe and connect to the tangle of emotions, thoughts and sensations that swirl around inside of us. The time out is an invaluable way to start to settle and even befriend the inner noise. We see more clearly what we need to move through this precious journey of life. Coming to the Yoga mat as a refuge is a habit that brings us health, healing and even some pure joy for the sake of it.

 

So have we convinced you to start practicing yoga?

Yoga Feldenkrais offers group and 1:1 yoga sessions both in a local studio and online. Yoga therapy offered by Margie is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Two classes a week are also available for cancer patients and survivors.