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Yoga to Try in Your 60s

Iyengar focuses on the spiritual as well as the physical

Yoga Gif

Justin Steele

Eagle pose is a standing balance sequence that requires and develops focus, strength and serenity.

Iyengar

i•yengar: A type of hatha yoga that focuses on alignment

What it is

Named for the popular Indian guru B.K.S. Iyengar, this meticulous yoga style emphasizes precise alignment, deep stretching and poses held steady for long moments. Students are encouraged to explore the mind-body connection, learn breathing techniques and focus on the spiritual as well as the physical.

What to expect

Because of the focus on correct alignment, students may use props — belts, blocks and bolsters — to get into a pose.

Who practices it

New students, those dealing with or recovering from injuries, and those who are detail oriented and methodical.

Insider info

B.K.S. Iyengar, who died in 2014 at age 95, is credited with popularizing yoga in the West. His devotees have included Annette Bening, Aldous Huxley and Donna Karan.



Take a Deep Breath

Yoga is a combination of controlled breathing and movement, and these days the breath is getting as much attention as the poses. Research shows that breathing pattern and rate can have a powerful effect on the body and mind. 

Try this basic breathing exercise:

1. Get comfortable, sitting or lying down, with your eyes closed.

2. Gently breathe in and out through your nose, with an equal inhalation and exhalation, without overfilling the lungs or trying to push out all the air.  

3. Count as you breathe (in: two, three, four; out: two, three, four), or use a breath-pacer app. 

4. Once that pace is comfortable, slow it a bit more. The ideal rate is between four and a half and six breaths per minute.


The United States of Yoga

Next: What to Try in Your 70s


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