Staying active is important, especially as the body ages. Yoga instructor Kelly Dougherty of Yoga on Main in Elkin said that yoga is a great way for those 50 and older to exercise, even if they don’t have a fitness routine.
“Overall yoga is really good for anyone that is working with an injury and as we get older life happens. We have these areas of our body that we need to be mindful of and yoga encourages us to do that and allows us to work around those things,” Dougherty said.
“At our studio, in particular, we use a lot of props to make you more comfortable to accommodate those things,” Dougherty said of Yoga on Main, 122 E. Main St., Elkin.
More than half of students who regularly practice yoga at the studio are older than 50, Dougherty said.
For those new to yoga, Dougherty said she recommended the Gentle Yoga class with Kym Goins on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
“That would be a really great option for anyone starting out,” Dougherty said. She noted that for those who might be concerned about getting down on the floor, the class can be accommodated to using a chair throughout the practice.
Goins said she chose to teach Gentle Yoga because she wanted a class that would “welcome a variety of body types, ages and experience levels.”
“The practice of yoga improves balance and flexibility as well as encourages us to be mindful and intentional in our movements,” Goins said. “Paying attention to how the body feels in poses, in transition from pose to pose and in stillness creates confidence about movement across the board.”
She added that the lessons learned from yoga can apply to more than just the exercise routine, but for life itself.
“Learning to tune in to and work with the body we have right now makes us more in touch with who we are and how we feel or what we need moment to moment,” Goins said. “I think that improves life at any age because it helps us to support our body where it is today and in that way it strengthens the relationship between our body and our soul.
“I know that for me aging is a strange process,” she said. “Things I once could do are more challenging and that is frustrating! Yoga helps me take it one day at a time and realize that every day is different on my mat and in my life. Through yoga, I have developed patience with myself (and others) that I never had before and my relationship with my body is the best it has ever been. I would encourage anyone and everyone to find a class that works for you and your body today.”
On Wednesdays at 7 p.m., Doughtery leads a restorative yoga class which focuses on relaxation with seated poses and poses lying on the back or belly.
“That’s really good for just opening and stretching,” she said.
Even gentle poses in yoga can aid with balance and strength, Dougherty said.
“For those over 50 in general, balance comes into play, so a lot of the strength building exercises help encourage strength through your core which helps balance,” she said. “For someone not currently active, yoga is a great way to start off instead of just jumping in using weights.”
Yoga exercises uses the weight of the body to build strength.
“Body weight exercises are really safe and good for your joints and muscles so you don’t overextend or overexert yourself and get an injury,” she said. “Even something as simple as raising your arms over your head is going to increase motility in your shoulders, but it’s also going to strengthen your shoulders and arms.”
For more information on Yoga on Main, visit www.yoga-on-main.com.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.