I’ve taught yoga for over 12 years now – four of which have been at FFC. In that time, I’ve had the privilege to teach all age groups, from people my age (40-ish), to my son’s hockey teams, to college students, to people just deciding to begin their yoga journey after retiring from their career. 

Some of the most inspiring stories I’ve been told are from students in their 50s, 60s, even 70s.  No matter your age, your flexibility or your capabilities, every day is a good day to start a yoga practice. Here are three things to keep in mind when starting a regular yoga routine:     

1. Start Slow

When you’re just starting out, find a gym or studio that works with your schedule and a style of yoga that works for you.  Start slow. Let the instructor know you’re new to yoga before class and use props as needed.  It might be useful to meet with an instructor 1:1 until you feel comfortable with the postures. 

2. Keep Going

Commit to at least a few classes before you decide yoga isn’t for you.  It can be a little uncomfortable in the beginning; your body is moving in a new way.  But as with most forms of exercise, your body will adapt and it will become less challenging (not easy though)!

3. Be Present  

Yoga teaches us to be more present, through mindful breathing.  Move at your own pace and take breaks during class as needed; listen to your body.  Especially in the beginning, know your limits and don’t push yourself too hard.  

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There are limitless benefits from a consistent yoga practice.  You’ll have increased flexibility, and moving will become easier in general.  When you experience the mind/body connection that yoga helps achieve, you’ll find more mental clarity and mindfulness, even off your yoga mat.  You’ll feel more balanced as yoga helps you find your center and works the muscles that provide stability. 

Yoga also helps circulate the healthy fluid around your joints and works the bones to stimulate growth, providing reduced joint pain and healthy bones.  And as with any exercise program, yoga can help you get to a healthy weight and stay there.  

One of my favorite things about being a yoga instructor and yoga practitioner is the community.  A yoga class should be a safe, judgement-free zone where like minded people can get to know each other and have fun while creating a healthy lifestyle. Join our one our yoga classes at FFC for a fun and safe class experience.

I hope to see you on your mat!  Namaste.

Post written by FFC Yoga Instructor and 111 Fitness Center Manager Elissa Peterson.