Am I too old to do yoga?

No, you are not too old to participate in yoga. As with any exercise always have a physical examination from a qualified health care provider to ensure that it is safe for you to participate in exercise. Some chronic conditions such as arthritis may be painful as joint range of motion is restricted.

Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine Specialist

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.

You are absolutely never too old for yoga! Yoga can be wonderfully beneficial for older students. Start with an introductory class, such as a Level 1 or restorative class and work up to a higher level if and when you feel ready. You may even find a studio near you that offers a “Yoga for Seniors” class. Once you’ve found the right level class for you, a steady yoga practice will help you build better body alignment, increase your flexibility and strengthen the stabilizing muscles in your body. After practicing for some time, many students find that the benefits of yoga go beyond just the physical.

Continue Learning about Yoga

How Yoga Can Help Injuries—Especially Low Back Pain
How Yoga Can Help Injuries—Especially Low Back Pain
Injuries can have a big impact on our daily routines and our sense of well-being. They can contribute to the stress we may already be feeling by makin...
Read More
What is the Fourth Tibetan Yogic Exercise?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
The Fourth Tibetan Yogic Exercise is this:Starting position: Sit on the floor with your knees bent a...
More Answers
Which Yoga Is Right for You?
Which Yoga Is Right for You?Which Yoga Is Right for You?Which Yoga Is Right for You?Which Yoga Is Right for You?
A guide to common styles, including Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar and Vinyasa.
Start Slideshow
Is There a Problem with the Downward Dog Position in Yoga That I Should Watch Out for?
Is There a Problem with the Downward Dog Position in Yoga That I Should Watch Out for?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.