Starting Yoga in Your Fifties
Esther Myers' reply:
If you live in a large urban area, you will have a wide selection of yoga classes and styles to choose from. They range from very strong, dynamic, and physically demanding styles to slow, gentle, relaxing approaches.
The first question to ask yourself is what you are looking for in a yoga class. What style of class are you drawn to? Try answering the following questions:
Yoga teachers vary tremendously in background, training, and experience. Since you have concerns about osteoarthritis, look for a teacher with a strong background in anatomy who can ensure that you're protecting your joints. Find someone who can adapt poses to your needs and abilities.
A predisposition to diabetes should not limit your practice at this stage. But if you develop the disease (which can affect the small capillaries of the vascular system), be cautious about inversions, especially Salamba Sirsasana (headstand), and any practices, like breath retention, that can increase blood pressure.
Last, but certainly not least, the class should just feel right. The key to continuing any practice over the years is to thoroughly enjoy it.
The late Esther Myers' 10 years as a student of Vanda Scaravelli inspired her to find her own unique, organic approach to yoga. Esther taught classes across Canada, Europe, and the United States before her death from cancer in 2004. She left behind a practice manual for beginners and a book titled Yoga and You, as well as two videos, Vanda Scaravelli on Yoga and Gentle Yoga for Breast Cancer Survivors.
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