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April 27, 2015
You bring up some very good points about joint health and Yoga.
Many people think about muscles primarily, but they forget about the health of the skeleton. Unfortunately, we are quickly reminded about our skeleton when we are in pain. Most often, pain that attacks the skeleton is within the joints.
In the case of Hatha Yoga practice, the joints are lubricated and warmed up gradually. This is why a younger student will benefit from moving forms of Yoga, such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Flow, and Power Yoga.
There are, of course, many styles of Yoga to choose from; but when we think about the physical styles, we must think about physical maintenance. A younger person, who is under 40 years old, can get away with much more movement and not have to worry about friction within the joints.
This is not to say that because we become 40, we will suddenly become rigid and stiff; but it happens to a fair number of Yoga students, who are over 40. Hence, a student who is middle-aged, or older, should consider Yoga styles that will cause less friction within the joints. These styles hold asanas longer and focus on the deeper aspects of one's Yoga practice.
With all this said, it is a wonderful practice to maintain a Yoga program as we age. The Yogis who are over 60 years of age can easily identify with how they feel inside. To wake up without physical pain is a gift. To be without emotional suffering is a true blessing. The younger yoga student enjoys the benefits of a physical body which is in great shape for now and many years to come.
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