When Should I Stop Doing Yoga?

Most of the time one might ask when or if they should start doing yoga, but some of my students who are approaching and passing the half way mark in their 70’s might want to know when should they stop doing yoga? The question has been answered.

Today my yoga student Alyda gave me something she’d written.  Alyda is famous in my yoga classes as the student that grew two and a half inches in her 70’s.  After taking classes for a few years Alyda had a physical to see how she was doing in regards to bone density.  In her words, “When they measured my height, I did my best imitation of Linda’s imaginary plumb line.”  To everyone’s amazement she was taller and her bone density was improving from the regime she had committed to of diet and exercise.  When she told me the news I asked her to write about it as it would inspire so many.  She did, and many others have told their yoga stories as well.

Alyda

Here is Alyda’s latest.

And the Yoga Goes On!

Sometimes I wonder if Linda encourages those of us in our 7th decade so that when someone in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s says they are too old to take on yoga she can say, “What are you thinking?  Some of my students are in their 70’s”

When I retired (in my 60’s) I decided to take yoga to do something physical, since I was no longer running around on my job.  I thought, “Maybe I can do this until I’m 70.”  As time went by I noticed that I was more agile than many of my friends of the same age.  Some of them were even getting shorter.  I was not.  (This is a big thing with me, since I don’t have any height to spare.)  Besides, yoga just made me feel good.  So when I turned 70 I gave up climbing on my roof to clean the gutters, but the yoga went on!

When I turned 75, I again wondered if it was time to ease out of yoga and pursue other interests.  I didn’t want to slow down the rest of the class.  Linda’s response to that inquiry was:  “You can continue taking my classes until one of us can’t get up off the mat.”  Wow.  That was encouraging.  So the yoga goes on!

I know there are others in my yoga classes that are in their 70’s and I watch them moving fluidly through the poses, standing tall and doing headstands and tree poses with aplomb.  I can’t speak for them, but I would like to suggest to you youngsters in your 40’s, 50’s and 60’s:  You are just getting warmed up.  So inhale, exhale, enjoy the wonderful feeling of a good stretch and all those other little blessings and let the yoga go on!

What Alyda may not know is she and the other students who are older than me are my inspiration to have the yoga go on!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I am sincerely hoping that by my 70s, I will have found “ease” in all my poses. I was first intrigued by yoga when I saw Priscilla Patrick on national public TV. I could be wrong, but I swear she was in her 60s then – nine years ago. What struck me was how young and agile she looked. It took years of attempting yoga with DVDs before I summoned the courage to join a class. Now I see how all of Linda’s students look and act younger than they are! Way to go Alyda – you are an inspiration!

    Reply

  2. Posted by vidya mouli on May 12, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Linda,
    It is always inspiring to see Alyda and few others who are enjoying their posses in classes. My own experience learning yoga has been uplifting and i am surprised to learn more about my own body that i seldom take time to acknowledge. I encourage students much younger to me to explore and enjoy the well being under good teachers such as you so they will feel young all the time as Alyda and others feel.

    Thanks,
    Vidya.

    Reply

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