Be Not Afraid
For many newbies, simply venturing into a yoga class is an act of courage. They often are trepidatious about injuring themselves, embarrassing themselves, or just trying something that's new and foreign. "The first time, they might be almost kind of tip-toeing in, fearful that this is some religious experience, some spiritual stuff, or that they have to put themselves into a pretzel," Iszak says. "But once they get beyond that, they see that it makes them feel better and that we lead the practice in a slow, methodical way."
Joining a class of people roughly the same age often takes away much of the fear of getting started. When they hear about a class called Gentle Yoga Over 60, seniors know they won't be competing with teenagers wearing skimpy outfits. Teachers want to show seniors what's possible, and when they're ready, they'll do it. And a just-for-seniors class taught by an experienced teacher can be a revelation. People enjoy instruction that is truly appropriate for their level. "With the support of props, they can go back to doing things they may not have done in years. They're delighted they can balance again," says Suza Francina, 59, author of The New Yoga for Healthy Aging. "People will show me how their hands are getting straighter, their range of motion is improving, their tennis game is getting better. I've had senior athletes over the years who say that yoga is their secret weapon."!--page-->