Guest Blog: The Yoga Benefit — 4 Yoga Styles for All Ages and Abilities

Guest Blog: The Yoga Benefit — 4 Yoga Styles for All Ages and Abilities

Greetings Urban Wealth Management blog enthusiasts. We hope you enjoy today's piece in the Yoga Benefit series from our yoga expert, Tanynya Hekymara.

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“Tanynya, what are the benefits of yoga?” The purpose of this blog series is to answer this question and raise others. I hope to summon curiosity and encourage the reader to conduct deeper research into movement and yoga… supporting you as the journey towards healthy living continues.

If you have limited mobility, strength, and/or flexibility, including yoga as part of your wellness plan may not have appealed to you in the past. Many mat yoga styles incorporate exercises that require participants to move from seated to standing positions often. In this article I will suggests some gentle yoga styles, with the hope that one of the styles will appeal to your physical ability and you will be able to find a yoga practice suited for your healthy living plan. 

Limited mobility, strength and/or flexibility can stem from one or many factors including long term sedentary habits, age, gender, and injury. SPOILER ALERT: If you have low mobility, weakness and/or are not flexible, you should practice yoga! 

Remember, your first class may be only the beginning. You may move to a different level or style of yoga after practicing for a while. You may feel more comfortable with another style after you have gained knowledge, strength and flexibility. Of course, you may choose to stay in a gentle class because it fits you best.

What to look for in a gentle or beginning yoga class

The class should be standing or seated for the majority of the class time with less ups and downs off of the mat. The instructor should give multiple options so that participants can find the pose that works best for them. Always have a discussion with your physician before starting any new exercise routine.

Gentle Styles

  1. Iyengar — A meticulous practice that pays attention to each pose and proper alignment but is still mentally and physically challenging.
  2. Restorative — The intent is to relax, soothe, and rejuvenate. This style uses blocks, blankets and props to make poses passive, yet still gaining benefit from each pose without working super hard.
  3. Hatha — The base of all yoga with beginning poses and gentle instruction. Most likely you will not sweat. Sit in or observe Hatha classes before joining them as many instructors have added some difficulty.
  4. Chair Yoga — A low impact option. I will explain Chair Yoga in more detail in another blog post.
  5. Yoga for children - I will discuss this option and the benefits in another post.
     

Gentle Poses

A full yoga class will provide you with the greatest benefit, but here are some examples of gentle poses. And remember to check with your doctor prior to starting a new physical activity.

  • Mountain Pose
  • Childs Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog
  • Chair Pose
  • Tree Pose
  • Savasana (Corpse Pose/Final Relaxation)
  • Bride Pose
  • Locust Pose
  • Legs-up-the-Wall
  • Warrior 2
  • Plank Pose
  • Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend
  • Thread the Needle
  • Cat/Cow
  • Table Top
     

I wish you the best as you search for the yoga class that fits your style.  Here are a couple resources to help you with your yoga class quest.

Resources:
Conduct a Yelp search for the best yoga classes in your area or read through one of these articles: Which Type of Yoga is Good for You? and Find Your Match Among Many Types of Yoga

I leave you with,
Om Shanti
Meaning peace for all…

Tanynya

 

Photography: freedigitalphotos.net, marin

 

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About the Author

Tanynya Hekymara is a lifestyle and change coach, diversity consultant, speaker, and workshop facilitator, as well as an instructor in yoga, meditation, mindfulness and wellness techniques. Connect with Tanynya on LinkedIn or Twitter!