Updated: Feb 4, 2022
If you're interested in yoga but, deterred by yoga stereotypes, and haven't yet dared to cross the threshold, perhaps these benefits will encourage you to try it...
Body and mind connection The body changes. At various points in life people are less strong, supple, or able as they once were. Yoga brings you into the body and helps you to have a strong appreciation for it "as it is now" and for all that is done and still does for you.
Your body is your home for the duration of life. Whatever its age and strengths and weaknesses it is a wonderful gift. Yoga is designed to honor, respect, and appreciate the body through physical practices, breath work and meditation. I know of no other activity that addresses these ideals in the same way.
Flexibility Tightness and inflexibility is not only limited to the limbs, hips and external parts of the body. Chances are if a person is inflexible on the outside they are also inflexible on the inside. Medical science suggest there might be correlation with a tight chest and tight arteries, which can be a contributing factor in poor heart health. A flexible body is one where all systems are flowing.
Think of the body as a circuit board. It isn't just blood, lymph, and hormones that circulate. The body is an energetic system constantly recycling energy, thoughts, messages, and emotions. If you are tight, then this vital life force energy can get stuck. Even 10 minutes of stretching a day can have a huge impact on your body's flexibility and will allow everything to circulate. Picture a flowing river instead of a stagnant pond.
Mobility Exercise and movement are vital for all body types and at all ages but perhaps more so if you wish to continue to have an active lifestyle. Walking is great, but it doesn't do much for strengthening and stretching the muscles in the back, shoulders, arms, and core. Yoga applies to the whole body. There are hundreds of different poses and it can help to ensure that all parts of the body remain mobile, which will allow you to continue to lead a more active life.
Pain Management One of my personal goals for yoga and the future is to remain pain free. As someone who suffered from chronic pain due to arthritis and migraines, I have felt the isolation and hopelessness of waking up in pain almost everyday. Yoga is not a quick fix and most benefits happen as a culmination of a lot of practice. Once you cultivate and develop your own daily yoga practice maintaining a pain-free existence is very possible.