Last Chance! We’re Giving Away $50,000! Enter Now. See Official Rules


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy


The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More


Military and Veterans Discount


AARP’s Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes

Enter the $50K Picture Your Retirement Sweepstakes. Ends 8/31/15. No purchase necessary. Enter for Official Rules.


AARP Games - Play Now!

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


Which Yoga Is Right for You?

From ashtanga to vinyasa, there is a style for every body

bmi tool

BMI Calculator

How healthy is your weight? Find out now by calculating your body mass index.

The style: ashtanga

What it is: An athletic, fast-paced style of yoga, in which you practice a specific set of six poses. All series begin with the sun salutations — a movement that includes challenging core-strength poses. Ashtanga has been described as “type A” yoga, because it tends to attract a lot of competitive, driven individuals (including Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow, both famous ashtanga devotees).

For older adults? “Ashtanga is a great practice,” says Beryl Bender Birch, author of Boomer Yoga: Energizing the Years Ahead for Men & Women. “But I wouldn’t recommend it to older people just starting. You have to do it five days a week, so that you’re introduced to it a few postures a time and then you move through the series systematically. You can’t just go to an ashtanga class once a week and expect it to help.”

More information on ashtanga yoga

The style: bikram

What it is: Bikram is “hot” yoga, literally and figuratively. This style, developed by Indian yoga superstar Bikram Choudhury, is practiced in rooms heated to over 100 degrees. Not surprisingly, the adherents get good and sweaty as they go through a specific series of 26 poses. Bikram is now practiced worldwide, with more than 300 studios in the United States alone.

For older adults? “I am an advocate of warm yoga classes, because for anyone with mobility issues, having a heated room can be beneficial and reduce risk of injury,” says Stanforth. “That said, 100 degrees, particularly for older individuals who do not thermo-regulate efficiently … meaning you don’t respond as well to the stress of the heat ... is a risky business.”

More information on bikram yoga

The style: hatha

What it is: Just about everything that we in the West tend to think of as yoga — the physical postures, the breathing techniques — comes under the rubric of hatha, which is less of a particular style than it is one of the original six branches of yoga. (The word means the “yoking” or union of mind, body and spirit.) To use a very non-Indian metaphor: Hatha is Ford, and ashtanga and Iyengar are the Taurus and Focus. Yoga Journal advises: If you come across a class describing itself as hatha, chances are that the teacher is offering a blend of two or more of the styles described here — or various other “niche” styles.

For older adults? Hatha usually emphasizes breathing and relaxation and can be especially meditative, so it’s a good choice for those looking for stress relief and relaxation.

More information on hatha yoga (see “Types of Yoga”)

Next: Iyengar, kundalini and power yoga. »

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Video Extra

Developed in 1995 by Madan Kataria, M.D., a family practitioner from India, laughter yoga “is based on the scientific concept that your body can’t tell the difference between simulated and spontaneous laughter,” Kataria says.

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select health & wellness products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members save 15% on easy listening devices and more at the HearUSA Hearing Shop.

Eye Med 4 Membership Benefit AARP Discount

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at Target Optical.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points