I’m a 68-year old grandfather and I have been practicing yoga for just over a year as I write this. For my birthday, my wife gave me a 5-pass to our local studio to get me started. I still go to that studio once a week but most other days I get on my mat at home and connect my iPad to my TV for a online session.
Here are some of the things I have discovered about yoga that I think you should share with your favourite mature men:
1. Yoga is not just for women. I know they dominate in numbers. I have been in many classes where I was the only male. If I were to be honest, that is more a reason to go than not go. If it bothers your Dad, help him set up at home.
2. You do not need to be flexible to start yoga. When you do a seated forward fold you may be almost upright while the person beside you is flopped onto their legs. Enjoy your pose, not theirs. As most teachers constantly reiterate, just do the best you can with your body today. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
3. Yoga is not competitive. Unlike many physical activities that men grew up with, there is no competition in yoga. No one ever judges you and you don’t need to judge yourself either. There are no points. No one is keeping score.
4. Yoga can be practiced as a purely physical experience. This is borderline heresy for many teachers but yoga does not have to be viewed as a religion. If you want to minimize the spiritual side of yoga, that is allowed. Many teachers never mention any belief system.
5. Yoga is for seniors. The word senior is so inadequate. My 92-year mother is a senior and she does her yoga sitting in a chair. But for me and the younger boomers there are no such restrictions. Just start. No, maybe you will never get your leg behind your head. I don’t know that there is anyone on the planet who is going to worry whether you can or can’t. As a senior, I know how quickly my body will deteriorate if I ignore it. While I don’t measure my daily or weekly progress, I can tell you with absolute certainty that a year from now I will be stronger, more flexible and better balanced. Thank you, yoga.
There you have it. Do a favor for that gentleman that you love. Get him started on a path that can only lead to a better physical lifestyle. Yoga will do that for him.
Courtesy of My Yoga Online.