Here’s a question I’m asked ALL of the time – Am I too old to do yoga? Or more specifically, am I too old to do Man Flow Yoga?
I’ll give you three reasons why you’re not too old for yoga (and specifically, why you’re not too old for Man Flow Yoga).
I have to preface this by saying that not all yoga is the same. There are many different types of yoga, and within each type of yoga, the style differs dramatically based on the instructor and their style. Therefore, it’s only possibly for me to make broad generalizations about yoga as a whole, but when speaking about the type of yoga that I teach with Man Flow Yoga, I can be more specific.
For the sake of conversation, I encourage to respond to the following in the comments section:
Why do you think you would be too old to do yoga? And if you don’t think you’re too old for yoga, why do you think other people would think they’re too old for it?
Let me know in the comments section below. 🙂
Here are the three reasons why you’re not too old for yoga, and in particular, why you’re not too old for Man Flow Yoga:
- The actual age of most Man Flow Yoga customers
- NO, you don’t have to flexible (but not for the reason you think)
- Why Yoga = the foundation of your fitness
- BONUS: Gentle!
Reason #1: Average Age of MFY Customers in the Members’ Area
First off, I’ll tell you the average age of the customers in the MFY Members’ Area – the people who are actually following along to programs with set schedules of workouts, and seeing results – most of them within their first month.
We know their ages not because we’re creepy and stalk them, but because we actually have conversations with our Members, and we do this formally every few months in the form of what we call “member Talks”.
This is when we block off a few hours every day for a week or two, and we invite our members to schedule conversations with us. So they’ll get on the phone or on a skype call with us, and we actually have real conversations. One of the most basic questions we ask them is their age, and by doing this, we realized that there one particular age range was far more popular than any other.
Believe it or not, the most popular age range of Man Flow Yoga customers belongs to men & women in their 50s.
They’re not in their 20s. They’re older, and they’re probably not training like the majority of the Instagram or YouTube fitness people you see on social media. And if you’re not in your 50s, I don’t want you to feel left out – because we also have a fairly even spread of people in their 30s, 40s, and 60s (not to mention a sprinkling of guys in their 20s, 70s, and even 80s). If you’re younger and already doing this stuff, your fitness has a longevity focus for which your older self is definitely going to thank you.
But if you’re in your 50s and you’re doing Man Flow Yoga, you’re in the mode.
Reason #2: The Flexibility Excuse
The number one concern that I hear from people scared of practicing yoga is – can you guess? – “I’m not flexible enough”. And here’s where my answer might surprise you:
Honestly, if you were to just walk into any random yoga class, you’d probably be right. Most yoga classes don’t cater to inflexible people, and you’d probably be hopelessly lost if you’re really inflexible.
But that’s not how I do my yoga workouts. You don’t have to be flexible to do Man Flow Yoga, because we use modifications specifically for people who are less flexible, and then allow you to build from there.
Here’s an example of a few modifications, just to prove my point:
Flexibility is just a by product of fitness-focused yoga, not a requirement to take the class. If you have an instructor who knows how the proper modifications to make sure that you can do the pose as it works for your body, then yoga is accessible. The way I practice yoga mainly focuses on body control, muscle engagement, mobility (as a whole) and breathing; and although we do incorporate dynamic movement into some of our workouts, the majority of the workout utilizes isometric exercises – or non-moving exercises – to do this.
This makes it easier to follow along to since you get more time to work your way into the posture, and don’t have to worry about following along to a fast-moving, hard-to-follow class that might make it challenging to keep up with the instructor.
The fact that a good, fitness-centric, strength-focused yoga workout is not just a flexibility-focused routine brings me to my next point:
Reason #3: Yoga = the foundation of your fitness
Low-impact or no-impact bodyweight exercises, focused on holds to build body awareness, basic strength and flexibility, and balance. It doesn’t get more basic – in a good way – than a foundational, slow-moving yoga workout for strength – and ideally one that doesn’t require flexibility.
One big type of strength we focus on in our workouts is isometric strength, and this is strength at its most basic level. In other words, isometric strength is level 1 of strength. Adding movement, reps, or more dynamic movement should only come after you’ve mastered the ability to hold an isometric exercise with proper technique.
What makes isometric exercise so special?
Don’t believe me? This is exactly how physical therapists help people who are injured recover from injury – to build strength, they start their patients with isometric exercises. Only once they’re able to do these exercises properly, with stability & confidence, will they move on to more movement-based exercises. And if you’ve been to a physical therapist before, you’ll probably notice a lot of overlap between physical therapy rehabilitation exercises and exercises we use Man Flow Yoga – and that’s because they’re super effective!
Weight training, running, bootcamps, calisthenics – these are all great examples of workouts that you can do ONCE you’ve establish a foundational level of strength and mobility. But in order to establish an adequate level of strength and mobility, you need something like what you’d get from the slow-moving, isometric-strengthening nature of a good Man Flow Yoga workout – ideally one that doesn’t require a lot of flexibility, if you’re not flexible.
This slow-moving, isometric strengthening-based yoga workout is also extremely beneficial because it gives you time to make sure that you are doing the postures safely and effectively, to avoid injury, keep your body feeling good, and maintain your ability to be consistent with your workouts.
And this brings me to my final (bonus) point.
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Reason #4 – BONUS REASON: It’s gentle, no-impact exercise. (Joint-friendly!)
I would be remiss if I did not mention the fact yoga is gentle on your body. It’s not even low-impact – it’s NO-impact; which means it’s joint-friendly and won’t hurt like other higher-impact forms of exercise – as long as you’re doing the proper technique.
So many people I talk with have done P90x, bootcamp style, or HIIT workouts, but had to give them up due to the pain and discomfort they were experiencing in your body. If your exercise hurts you to the point that you’re dreading your next workout, that’s not a good workout for you!
Man Flow Yoga is awesome because not only will you get a great workout that delivers results – increasing your strength, building muscle, and helping to lose weight – but you’ll also feel great. And, you can use these programs & workouts to prepare your body for more intense, higher impact exercise, so eventually you can go back to those types of exercises that were giving you problems before, and you’ll be able to do them without pain, using the foundational of strength, flexibility, and proper muscle activation you’ve built with Man Flow Yoga.
If you practice yoga in a way that’s beginner-friendly, and doesn’t require a significant amount of flexibility, yoga can form an incredible foundation for any type of fitness. Being able to control your body, to use your muscles properly, and to go through basic bodyweight movements with strength and stability translates into functional fitness for all types of physical activities – not just yoga.
But being able to do more dynamic or more demanding exercise demands that you have a foundational level of body awareness, strength, and mobility, and a good strength-focused yoga program – in other words, what we do with Man Flow Yoga – will help get you there.
Need help getting started with an age-appropriate form of yoga?
If you’d like to get started with my beginner-friendly, no flexibility required yoga program, head to manflowyoga.com/join to start your $1 trial – this gets you access to all of my programs and workouts, including exclusive content you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re not ready for that yet, AND to prove to yourself that you’re not too old for yoga (at least Man Flow Yoga), then I invite you to try out my FREE 7-Day Intro. It includes easy-to-follow workouts to learn proper technique and practice safely & effectively. Poses explained in plain English, with an emphasis on correct alignment. Click here to learn more and sign up! (No credit card required.)
Lastly, I’ve also included a few workouts for you to try for yourself from my YouTube channel, ManFlowYoga. These are beginner-friendly workouts to help address strength, balance, and flexibility, and you don’t have to be super flexible to do any of these.
Even if you can’t do the entire workout your first try, I want you to try at least one of these out, and prove to yourself that this IS something you can do. I recommend doing at least 3 yoga workouts per week to get noticeable results.
- Yoga Strength from The Man Flow Yoga Guyoga Program
- Yoga for Golf – Improve your swing, strengthen your lower back, and increase flexibility for golf (34 minute workout)
- 10-Minute Yoga for Guys Who Aren’t Flexible – Yoga to Improve Flexibility and Relieve Tightness
What should you focus on?
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About the author, Dean Pohlman, Founder & CEO of Man Flow Yoga, Author of Yoga Fitness for Men, Expert on Yoga Fitness for Men.
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