5 Sustainable Poses for Yogis of All Ages | Yoga for Healthy Aging - Yoga Journal

Live Be Yoga: 5 Sustainable Yoga Poses for Yogis of All Ages

The ambassadors visit Better Living Yoga, a SoCal yoga studio committed to serving yogis over 40 through stress-busting practices that help prevent chronic illnesses and support those dealing with disease. Here, Aris Seaberg learns more about its mission, along with supported variations of common postures that calm the nervous system and extend the life of your practice.
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Better Living Yoga class

Better Living Yoga, based in Aliso Viejo, CA, focuses on offering sustainable and restorative classes for yogis 40 and older, with the goal of relieving stress and preventing chronic illnesses. 

Live Be Yoga ambassadors Jeremy Falk and Aris Seaberg are on a road trip across the country to share real talk with master teachers, explore innovative classes, and so much more—all to illuminate what's in store for the future of yoga. Want more stories from Live Be Yoga? Follow the tour and get the latest stories @livebeyoga on Instagram and Facebook.

“I’m not _____ enough to do yoga.” We have all heard the comments from friends, family, or acquaintances who are too intimidated to step inside a yoga studio. But on the tour, we discovered a rich, growing community in Southern California that puts those fill-in-the-blank fears to rest.

Better Living Yoga in Aliso Viejo, CA, not only welcomes yogis of all ages and body types, but it is a place to build a sustainable yoga practice for life. Founder and owner David Webster was familiar with the all-too-common yoga studio model that marketed to a younger crowd. Through years of adapting his personal practice as he aged and the experiences he shared with his sister, who passed away at 58 from early-onset Alzheimer's, David realized there was a need for a yoga studio that supports people in all stages of their lives.

Now, his studio abides by his favorite Patanjali quote: “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”

“At Better Living Yoga, we use yoga to reverse and prevent chronic conditions, as well educate and empower people to heal themselves,” he told us. 

David referenced a few staggering statistics which led to the design of his classes: About 50 percent of American adults have a chronic condition; about a third of the population deals with multiple chronic diseases. While he provides therapeutic practices to support those journeys, David believes that education and prevention are key to reducing these statistics in the first place.

See also 8 Yoga Poses for Stress Relief

Most of BLY’s classes focus on stress reduction through the down regulation of the nervous system. Adaptable practices offer tools that help students elicit their parasympathetic—rest, digest, and restore—responses in the body. By doing this, the nervous system returns to homeostasis so yogis can, as David says, “love life, feel better, and look younger and brighter.”

This studio’s mission is a breath of fresh air in modern yoga culture. People are consumed with trying to look younger and healthier. What if we just started by bringing awareness to the body? What if we nourished our bodies, minds, and hearts in the ways we need to as individuals? What if the practice of taking care of ourselves transitioned, as we do, through life?

Related online courses Restorative 101 with Jillian Pransky

“Stay moving! If you don’t move, you’re going to become immobile,” says David. “Even if you don’t live in Aliso Viejo, find a yoga studio that offers gentle and restorative classes.”

5 Sustainable Yoga Poses to Try at Home

We asked Cindy Shapiro, E-RYT 500, one of BLY’s lead teachers, to share pointers and modifications that make common poses safe and accessible to most students, even if they suffer from illness or injury. These supportive poses also help tap into the parasympathetic nervous system response to rejuvenate you—so you can relieve stress and enjoy your practice for the long haul.