Yoga Practice Can Begin at Any Age!

Yvonne Forsythe

So you\’ve always wanted to try yoga, but the thought of taking a class is a little intimidating, especially if you\’re middle-aged, out-of-shape and have some health issues.

Many older adults are looking for ways to improve their quality of life and remain active, and yoga has been the answer for many.  Studies have shown that practicing yoga at an older age can help lower blood pressure, increase flexibility, improve balance and increase energy. And really the only requirement for practicing yoga is the ability to breath.

Make sure you find an appropriate class before you start your yoga practice, and let the teacher know of any health concerns or challenges you face. YAM offers classes for all levels, from mild, beginner classes to hot dynamic flow sessions.

Yvonne Forsythe is a regular Yoga practitioner at YAM. At 60 (although you would never know it), Yvonne, a full-time  dental hygienist for 40 years, started doing yoga 14 years ago, almost on a whim, when a good friend became a certified yoga instructor.

But her passion for yoga grew stronger when she met and studied under Leigh Ann Mertens, the former owner of Brightwater Yogawho still teaches there.

“I never felt like it was an exercise class,” Yvonne says. “I came with a clear mind and let my teacher explain the (Iyengar style of yoga) placement of the poses, so that I wouldn’t hurt myself. Yes, there are challenges and still are to this day, but I look forward to each and every class with an open mind.”

For years, Yvonne practiced twice a week, but now attends classes three to four times a week. Her posture has improved over the years and the headaches she used to have are no more.

 “It has made me stronger in mind and body. I am now 60 and find each class to be a learning experience,” Yvonne says. “After 14 years, I have finally been able to touch my head to the floor in a wide-legged forward fold. It just takes time. My age makes no difference.”

She loves YAM’s studio because the Infrared Far heated room allows her to go deeper into the poses. The heat helps to loosen up muscles and joints.

Her advice for a new, middle-aged student? Start out with a beginner series of classes to learn the poses correctly, and try a mildly, heated room to gradually adjust to the temperature.

“I was thrilled to know that Hendersonville was going to have a place to practice that was heated. Averee (Refshauge) has a done a fantastic job designing the studio, and has made it so welcoming,” Yvonne says. “I am ever so grateful to each and every one of my teachers.”