Yoga for every stage of your life … yes, it is possible and even recommended! Yoga is a lifestyle activity that has a place in your routine no matter how old (or young) you are. Learn more about the role yoga has to play in every stage of your life.
There are way too many activities that seem to be restricted to particular periods of life. We’re teased for acting immature when we descend into a fit of silliness as adults, we’re accused of acting “old” if we decide to crash on the early side… the list goes on! It happens this way with exercises and physical activities, too. Some people assume that certain workouts are too physically demanding — or not demanding enough — for certain age groups. The media tends to double down on those ideas, only reinforcing them further!
The truth is that some physical activities are better suited for various phases of life more than others, but there are also forms of exercise and movement that you can practice through (basically) all of them. Yoga is one of them!
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This guide to yoga for every stage of your life will tell you everything you need to know about getting on the mat throughout the decades — and how to make it an intergenerational activity, too.
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Why Yoga Is A Lifelong Activity
Strenuous physical activities like running, biking, and contact sports become challenging for people later on in life because of their high impact. According to MedlinePlus, muscles, joints, and bones change over time. Bones become more brittle, joints lose cartilage, muscles struggle to contract and become more rigid… you get the picture.
But don’t panic! While this laundry list of the physical symptoms of aging might be a little discouraging, it’s not meant to bum you out. What it should do is show you why higher-impact activities become more difficult as we get older — and encourage you to explore lower-impact options like yoga.
Yoga is a great fit for our bodies over time because it puts less stress on the bones, joints, and muscles. It’s also a flexible practice that allows you to adapt poses based on your current fitness level and your wellness goals. With yoga, you can stay active — and continue getting stronger — even as your body ages. And if you want to use yoga as part of a more intense fitness regimen, you can certainly focus your practice on power yoga and/or cardio yoga, which will get your heart pumping, tone muscles, help with weight maintenance goals, and more. We can definitely help you with those power yoga workouts!
Even people at the younger end of the age spectrum can participate in yoga! Moves and flows can be adapted for kids and teens… even babies and toddlers. That’s right — even babies and toddlers! Don’t underestimate the littles in your life.
Yoga for Babies and Toddlers
There’s a good reason that yoga studios, kiddie gyms, and community centers have started offering yoga classes aimed at babies and toddlers over the last few years. The youngest members of your family have a lot to gain from hitting the mat — first with the support of a grown-up, and later on, independently.
(Also, is there anything cuter than babies and toddlers doing yoga? Didn’t think so.)
Benefits of Yoga for Babies and Toddlers
As you can probably imagine, yoga designed for babies and toddlers is a little different than yoga designed for pretty much everyone else… and the benefits are different, too. Here are a few things tots have to gain from an (extremely) beginner yoga routine:
It can aid digestion. Youngsters often deal with issues processing their food, which can lead to a lot of discomfort and fussing. The poses chosen for baby yoga are designed to rectify some of those problems.
It can support better, more consistent sleep. Anyone who has ever spent a lot of time with a baby knows how ridiculous that old saying “I slept like a baby!” really is. News flash: babies don’t actually sleep that much. That’s where yoga can come in! “The class experience is just the right amount of stimulation they need to help them sleep for longer stretches of time,” Laura Chaitoff — who co-owns a NYC children’s yoga studio — told Care.com.
It’s a great bonding experience. If you’ve ever felt like you need to simply slow down and create more space to connect with your infant or toddler, signing them up for a yoga class might be just what the doctor ordered. It’s an active, healthy way for you to spend time together.
Learn more about the benefits of yoga for toddlers here.
How to Get Started With Yoga for Babies and Toddlers
For super little ones, it’s all about slowly easing them into your own yoga practice. Situate them in the room with you while you take an online yoga class. When they’re old enough to sit independently, bring them on to the mat with you and see what they do! Do they mirror your movements? You might have a little yogi on your hands!
Here are some poses to try with babies and toddlers:
Downward Facing Dog
Wide Legged Forward Fold
These poses are easy enough for kids to learn and will get them excited about exploring more yoga movements as they get older, which brings us to…
Yoga for Kids and Teens
You can never have too many activities to share with kids and teens. Whether they are bored or overflowing with energy that needs to be channeled, they’ve gotta have things to do! Plus, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be challenging to relate to your kids, especially as you get older. If you’re into yoga yourself, sharing your practice with your children can offer you a meaningful — and fun! — point of connection.
Your kids can get into yoga at any age, whether or not you introduced the movements to them when they were babies or toddlers. If you can help them develop a healthy yoga routine in their younger years, they’ll be able to continue exploring the practice throughout the future decades of their lives (more to come on that!). Can you think of a better gift with a more meaningful return? Not really!
Benefits of Yoga for Kids and Teens
The experts at Harvard Health have plenty to say about the benefits of yoga for older children. Here are a few of those benefits:
- Physical health gains like improved balance, strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity
- Psychological health gains like improved focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, and classroom behavior
- Reduction in anxiety and stress
The mental and emotional benefits of a regular yoga practice may prove especially meaningful for teens. After all, it’s no secret that those adolescent years can be an emotional roller coaster for many! According to Healthline…
Yoga decreases anxiety. Teens may experience relief from the nerves they feel about school, friends, fitting in, etc.
Yoga can fight depression. Studies show that yoga may have an antidepressant effect. According to the CDC, approximately 2 million American children have been diagnosed with depression, which is to say nothing of the many kids and teens who have not received a diagnosis but are still struggling with the symptoms of depression. Making yoga available to more young people has real potential to lower those statistics.
Yoga can promote healthy eating habits. It can be hard to get teenagers to eat healthfully, but it’s important to build those well-rounded wellness habits early. Because of yoga’s emphasis on the mind-body connection, it can support the development of those habits.
Yoga can improve overall quality of life. Who wouldn’t like to see an improvement in the way their kids and teens experience life as a whole?
How to Get Started With Yoga for Kids and Teens
There are many ways to introduce kids and teens to the world of yoga. Younger children might enjoy learning the poses in the context of yoga games. Here are a few ideas from Harvard Health:
- Mirror, Mirror: Demonstrate basic poses and invite the children to follow your lead as if they’re looking in the mirror. After they’ve tried a few poses, let them play leader!
- Yogi Says: This is a take on the schoolyard game Simon Says and works well for kids who are a bit more familiar with basic yoga movements. When your instruction says “Yogi Says,” the other players should follow those instructions. You can demonstrate the pose, too! If you don’t start the instruction with “Yogi Says,” they shouldn’t do the pose. Everyone should take a turn at playing the Yogi in charge!
- Red Light, Green Light: It’s a yogi spin on Red Light, Green Light. The other players should move closer to you by using yoga poses after you call out “Green Light!” When you call “Red Light!,” all players should pause in a yoga pose.
For older children and teens, a more structured, instructional online yoga class might be a better fit. Check out these online bulldog yoga classes:
Active teens might also be up for more fitness-fueled yoga, like our HIIT and body sculpt classes. It won’t take much for them to fall in love with power yoga.
Learn more about why online yoga is perfect for kids and parents — like, together! — here.
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‘Yogi Says’ get started now! 😉
Yoga for Adults
The more general “adult” category is probably the one you most associate with yoga. It’s the group of people we most frequently see practicing yoga in TV and movies, and the group of people that typically has the largest range of class options available to them.
But why are there so many adults hitting the mat? Let’s dig a little deeper into the benefits of yoga for grown-ups. We’re pretty confident these details will convince you of the many advantages of practicing yoga in this extended chapter of life.
Benefits of Yoga for Adults
There are seemingly endless health benefits available for adults who participate in yoga. The University of Rochester Medical Center details many of them. Here are a few of the health concerns or conditions that yoga can help manage:
- Poor blood circulation
- Elevated blood pressure
- Tension and/or stress
And here are a few things that can be gained from a yoga practice:
Yoga can help you avoid injuries by building up muscle strength. In the process, you’ll also improve your flexibility (*more on this below!)
Yoga can make it easier for you to focus and concentrate in other areas of your life, like on the job.
You’ll gain strength and stamina from regular time on the mat.
Yoga will support healthier posture, which is especially important for people who spend many hours of the day sitting in front of a computer.
You’ll have a better understanding of the connection between your mind and body, which may support overall efforts to live a healthier lifestyle.
Power yoga — also known as cardio yoga — is designed to help adult yogis take extra advantage of benefits like strength-building, aerobic health, and weight maintenance.
*Find out more about the awesome benefits of yoga through your adult years
You will see some recommended yoga poses in action!
How to Get Started With Yoga for Adults
One of the coolest things about yoga is that it can meet you wherever you are. Regardless of your exact age, fitness level, or wellness goals, you can find a class and yoga style that will fit seamlessly into your life while pushing you to be your best.
Check out this variety of online classes for adult yogis…
- Beginner Warm-Up — for newbies to the yoga world. It’s never too late to be a beginner!
- Activate with Patty “Kiss Me” — for a slow, stretchy session set to a soundtrack of Passenger, The Head and The Heart, and Pomplamoose.
- Invigorate with Brittany “Roar” — for a more power yoga approach! Power yoga infuses a little extra cardio and strength training into a yoga flow. This workout includes songs by Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Maggie Rogers.
- 35-Minute Full Body Sculpt — for a higher-intensity fitness yoga workout. Classes like this one are perfect for yogis with slightly more hardcore fitness goals, since they incorporate a full-body workout.
And that’s only the beginning! Once you start exploring our online yoga class offerings, you’ll figure out your favorite vibe and find yourself lousy with amazing class options.
There’s more where that came from!
You’ve got nothing to lose!
Yoga for Seniors
All too often, people assume that they’re going to have to slow down physically as they age. Perhaps they’ve heard that that’s what’s supposed to happen, or maybe they’re responding to the aches and pains that are par for the course later in life. No matter the cause, seniors tend to be less active than their younger counterparts.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! Per the CDC, older adults who are generally fit and don’t have any limiting health conditions can — and should — engage in 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 150 minutes of vigorous activity on a weekly basis. Yoga can certainly support those goals!
Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
Here are some of the health benefits of yoga (as listed by the University of Rochester Medical Center) that might be especially helpful for older folks.
It can ease the symptoms of arthritis. According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of people 65 and older reported doctor-diagnoses arthritis, which is a general term for inflammation in the joints that can cause pain and/or stiffness. Arthritis worsens with age, but yoga can make it a little easier to manage!
It can increase mobility. As we get older, it can become more challenging for us to get around. If you’re experiencing mobility challenges, getting on the yoga mat can improve your balance, range of motion, and flexibility so you can more easily move through your life.
It can help treat osteoporosis. Osteoporosis has a particularly significant impact on older women. Nearly 25 percent of women over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.
Many of the health benefits detailed in earlier sections of this guide can, of course, improve the overall quality of life for seniors. Yoga’s ability to boost aerobic capacity, strength, and stamina, for example, will help older folks stay strong, healthy, and active well into their later years!
How to Get Started With Yoga for Seniors
Like yoga for adults, yoga for seniors is really about exploring the wide range of online yoga classes to determine what works best for you. Our Activate classes — which are focused on stretching and waking up the body — might be a good place to start. Here are a few of our favorite Activate classes:
Seniors might feel more inspired to explore a yoga practice with the support and participation of a younger family member, which is the perfect segue to…
One of the best things about a lifestyle activity like yoga is that it allows people to be active together, regardless of their ages. Kids and parents can get on the mat together, but so can grandparents and their grandchildren, friends from across the generational divide… the list goes on. If you already enjoy yoga or want to explore it further, there’s really no one you can’t invite to join you on the mat.
Intergenerational activities are more than just fun and personally rewarding. According to CivicPlus, studies show that there are other benefits:
- Better communication skills
- Improved self-esteem (for all parties!)
- Better decision-making skills
- Improved memory
- Sense of accomplishment, particularly in the older generation
- Feeling appreciated and valued
- Emotional bonding (also for all parties!)
- Improved confidence, thanks to non-judgmental companionship
- Everyone can learn something from each other!
Ready to start exploring yoga as an activity for yourself… and even other generations? Once you get into it, you can keep it up — and reap its many benefits — for, like, ever.
Grab everyone you know (no matter what age)
Your mind & body will thank you for years to come!