Over two million Australians practice the ancient art of yoga. Regular yoga practice can result in an amazing array of health benefits and help with everything from high blood pressure to lower back pain.
In your mid-twenties collagen production slows down and we start to lose muscle mass. Bone density also begins to diminish, with menopause accelerating this loss. Throw in a neglected pelvic floor and the aches and pains associated with menopause and midlife and you’ll see why as a mid-lifer, yoga should be on your exercise radar if it isn’t already.
Why yoga now?
Because ageing doesn’t have to mean you lose mobility, strength, flexibility or energy. We asked our favourite yogi, Simone Skinner-Smith from the Mobile Yogi, to give us the low down on the benefits of getting bendy; even when you’re not that bendy anymore!
Yin Yang yoga
Yoga at ‘our’ age, might look quite different to the yoga of your younger self. Simone recommends trying Yin Yang classes. This style of yoga starts with slow-flow poses that promote weight bearing and involve longer poses that work on connective tissue, fascia, and ligaments in your body.
The yin poses are designed to take you deeper on a physical and mental level. The yang component involves more active poses designed to build strength, stamina and flexibility. The combination of these different poses are designed to balance the mind and body.
Easy poses for home
It’s easy to slip some yoga moves into your daily routine at home. For calm and balance, Simone recommends lying with your legs up the wall (Viparita Kirani), also known as the ‘fountain of youth’ pose. I love this restorative pose for tired legs and respite from lower back pain. Tree pose is another as it works to strengthen the lower body and help improve balance. It has the added benefit of calming a busy mind as it requires you to focus on your balance.
With enormous physical and mental health benefits that aid in restoration for body and mind, yoga suits just about everyone.
According to Simone, a lesser talked about benefit of regular yoga is the body awareness you’ll develop. What’s not to love about that? Having an insight into your body, and what serves you well and what doesn’t is one of the keys to wellness for good health in midlife, and beyond. Yep, it’s time to get bendy baby!
Tracy is a media professional working in television. An enthusiastic explorer of the inter webs, she's held many different roles and has worked on documentary, reality and lifestyle television shows across almost two decades in the industry. Tracy also writes.