When discussing a beginner's interest in practicing yoga, one thing that is common to hear is how they're not in good enough shape, aren't flexible enough, or otherwise don't fit the mold of what they imagine when they think of the people filling up the fancy yoga studios in New York or Southern California. Added to that list is those who think they don't fit the mold because they're too old.
But here's the thing--there is no mold. Not even close.
Yoga exists quite simply as a system for strengthening and lengthening the body so that the practitioner may be limber and strong enough for prolonged periods of sitting. This will help them to pursue higher practices like breathing and meditation that will ultimately lead them down the path toward a supreme sense of joy. And so, if a person has a body and intends to seek this joy, then they will benefit from practicing yoga postures regardless of their current strength, flexibility, or even age.
That being said, it is ideal to meet yourself wherever you're at--not where you think you should be in comparison with the lithe young people at those fancy studios. Start with very simple postures like child's pose and cat/cow, for they will help you to tune in to your body and determine what an appropriate level of activity may be for your age and physical ability.