We are absolutely, 100% pro-ageing… the other option isn’t that great when you think about it. We are also PRO ageing well. As in, not listening to the nonsense that says when you age your body goes ‘down hill’.
It is a fact that as you age your cells do not regenerate as quickly or swiftly as they do when you are young. It is also proven that it is harder to build and gain strength as you age. This is important to take note of as muscle mass plays an important role in protecting joints and bones, especially through the ageing process.
Ok, so if we know this, what can we do to make sure we are working WITH our bodies?
How can we ensure that we age well?
We mean… how can we increase our longevity? But the goal isn’t just to live a long time, it’s to live a long time and feel great along the way.
Maintaining flexibility and strengthening your body for an active life is important at all ages but perhaps even more so as you approach older ages.
Is Yoga for older women a good idea? You’re damn right it is!
It’s one of the best forms of exercise we know (and trust us, we’ve tried them all!). We wrote about the many benefits of Yoga over here. Not only will your mental health benefit (that is, you will feel more calm and less stressed), Yoga is known to help with many health conditions, such as reducing the risk of high blood pressure and aiding in sustainable weight loss.
We know that ‘lose weight’ can be a goal for many but with MerryBody we care about HOW you go about it.
We are not about 12 week shreds and quick fixes. We would rather help you build a consistent exercise practice that you enjoy, that helps you create a healthy, vibrant life. Yoga really is a total body and mind practice.
Why Is Flexibility and Strength Training Important?
As you get older, your muscles and tendons lose elasticity, which will inevitably cause your joints to take the hit and really suffer. As mentioned above the cells, and therefore muscles within the body, take longer to heal and increase in mass.
Many fitness experts agree that it is crucial to work both your flexibility and strength as you reach middle age and beyond. Creating a strength training program alongside a flexibility program will do wonders.
This is why we mix Yoga with Pilates. A Pilates and Yoga practice is the perfect combination of resistance and body strength training.
If you’ve been wanting to add more movement to your life we encourage you to press play on one of our beginner yoga classes. Even better? Combine both Pilates and Yoga together! The below class brings a focus to your stress levels, with the goal to help you release stress! Not only will you work on strength and flexibility, you’ll also feel your mind and body de-stress.
So let’s get you feeling amazing and into some Yoga poses!
Add these amazing Yoga stretches into your exercise routine to start working on flexibility in your muscles and increasing the strength of your body.
The Best Yoga Poses for Women Over 40 (actually any age!)
So yes we got asked: what are the best Yoga poses for women over 40… and really, the answer is ALL OF THEM! But here are some to try and of course, why not just try one of our full length classes to experience a proper flow class! We have a free Desk Worker Yoga class over here.
Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirasana)
Head-to-Knee Pose, or Janu Sirsasana, is going to stretch out the hamstrings, hips, and groin muscles. It might require some working up to, but you will see progress in your flexibility if you continue performing this Yoga pose regularly. It’s one of our favourites, especially to add into a Yin Yoga class.
How to do Janu Sirsasana:
Sit on your Yoga mat with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your left leg and bring your left heel to your right inner thigh. Take a deep breath in to lengthen the spine and sides of the body, and as you exhale forward fold over your right thigh. Reach for your foot, calf or thigh. It doeesn’t matter how far you can reach, focus on keeping an integrity in your spine.
Hold this position for 5 breaths before returning to starting position, switching legs, and repeating.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
The Bow Pose will improve blood circulation in your back, and it will provide a deep stretch to the muscles in the posterior chain (the front of the body). You will feel your upper body open! This is the perfect Yoga pose to do after you have been sitting for an extended period of time and feel a bit rusty. However, it’s important you don’t just rush into this Pose. This is what we would call a Peak Posture and requires warming up to perform safely.
How to do Bow Pose:
Lie on your Yoga mat facedown. Bend your knees, bring your heels as close to your butt as you can, and catch the outside of your ankles with your hands. Flex your feet. Take a deep breath in and slowly raise your torso and thighs off the mat. Really kick your ankles into your hands. Look forward, relax your shoulders and straighten your legs as much as possible. Hold this position for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat 2-3 times and then do a gentle twist to neutralise the spine.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Along with strength and flexibility, it is important to work on balance as you age. This will help you avoid falling. Tree Pose is one of the ultimate postures to help you practise balance as you stand on one leg. This pose also welcomes calmness to your mind.
How to do Tree Pose:
Standing at the top of your mat, inhale to lift your right knee to your chest and exhale to take it out to the side. Reach for your right ankle and place your right foot into the inner seam of your left leg. If this is too much, let the right toes find the Earth. Really press your right foot into the thigh and the thigh into the foot, this will help you balance. Bring your palms to your heart or reach them over head.
Hold for 5-10 deep breaths and then swap sides.
Ok! Now you’ve had a little taste of Yoga, it really is time to meet us on the mat. No matter what your age, our classes are created to suit all levels. In fact we have members from ages 16-75! You can start a free 7 day trial here if you like!
We look forward to seeing you on that mat!
Emma + Carla