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yoga can reduce pain and mobility problems in
people with knee osteoarthritis. However, some
yoga moves aren't suitable for people with the
condition. Find a teacher who understands arthritis
and can adapt movements for individual needs,
especially if you have replacement joints. Check
with a doctor or physiotherapist to find out if there
are any movements to avoid.
Am I too old for yoga?
Definitely not. People often start yoga in their 70s,
and many say they wish they had started sooner.
There are yoga classes for every age group. Yoga is a
form of exercise that can be enjoyed from childhood
to your advanced years.
Do I have to be fit to do yoga?
No, you can join a class that's suitable for your fitness
level. For example, to join a mixed ability yoga class,
you need to be able to get up and down from the
floor. Some yoga classes are chair-based.
Don't I need to be flexible to do yoga?
Not necessarily. Yoga will improve your flexibility
and help you go beyond your normal range of
movement, which may make performing your daily
activities easier.
Can I injure myself doing yoga?
Yoga-related injuries are uncommon. Some injuries
can be caused by repetitive strain or overstretching.
But yoga is the same as any other exercise discipline.
It is perfectly safe if taught properly by people
who understand it and have experience. Learning
from a qualified yoga teacher and choosing a class
appropriate for your level will ensure you remain
injury-free.
What style of yoga should I do?
There are many different styles of yoga, such as
Ashtanga, Iyengar and Sivananda. Some styles
are more vigorous than others. Some may have
a different area of emphasis, such as posture or
breathing. Many yoga teachers develop their own
practice by studying more than one style. No style
is necessarily better or more authentic than any
other. The key is to choose a class appropriate for
your fitness level.
What type of class should I look out for?
Classes can vary in duration, but typically last
between 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
A longer class will give you more time for
learning breathing and relaxation techniques,
and will give the teacher time to work with your
individual ability. It's worth speaking to a teacher
about their approach before you sign up for a class.
Where can I find a yoga class?
No specific qualifications are required to teach
yoga in the UK. However, it is generally accepted
that teachers need to be insured and have a
teaching certificate and accreditation from a yoga
association.
The main UK yoga associations are:
British Wheel of Yoga (BWY), the Sport England-
recognised governing body for yoga
These associations all list teachers and classes near
you on their websites. You can also search for a local
class or teacher using the following websites:
Can I use a book or a yoga DVD instead of going
to a class?
It's better to start with a class to learn the poses and
breathing techniques correctly. With a DVD, there
will be nobody to correct your mistakes, which
may lead to injury over time. With some experience
of being in a class, a DVD can then be helpful for
keeping up practice.
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