What Every Guy Over Fifty Wants!

Soft moans are heard in the darkened room.

Sighs of satisfaction.

Physical release.

A soft smile creeps onto your lips.

This is the moment you waited for.

Shavasana, corpse pose, the final resting place of the old you. Of course I’m talking about … yoga.

Hey, it’s what no man over 50 wants to hear but needs to. You are not in your best physical shape, not by a long shot, unless yoga is a part of your routine. It’s not just a woman’s activity. It’s not just something other people do. It can be part of your life that enhances all aspects of daily life.

I hurt my back at 25 and it took nine months to heal. It affected each and every decision I made in my life. I had to consider how tired I was, how far I could walk, where to sit for comfort, and how far I could push my body. Slowly I got back to somewhat normal, but the possibility of the pain driving me to my knees was close at hand.

The first time I had a real discussion about yoga was when I was just turning 50. I was active, in okay shape and life was good if not challenging. My longtime friend was a yoga teacher and in our conversation she suggested I come to class. Of course I was reluctant until she asked me to touch my toes. As I leaned over to reach my toes I made it all the way to my knees and stopped. She gave me a knowing smile and said I’ll see you Saturday.

Walking into a small room on the second floor of the gym I had no idea what to expect. Women of all ages were unfurling their yoga mats sitting quietly with an understanding of the experience. I felt like the unicorn in the room, twice as large as most of the women. I went to the furthest point in the room from my friend, the teacher. At this point I didn’t know what she had gotten me into.

 This can’t be too hard if so many older women can do it.

The lights went down, the music started to play quietly, the room hushed as we were led slowly through waking up exercises. Well it certainly was for me as my body started to resist and I was thinking that if this is just the start it’s going to be a tough hour.

The positions were foreign and as I tried to align my body in a way that somewhat resembled what she was asking, I realized that I had taken for granted how much my body didn’t move like it did as a young man. I had played football, basketball, baseball and had done physical work all of my life. I thought I was physically active and energetic, but this new way of moving and not being able to accomplish it was deflating. My body was letting me down.

Lying next to me was this petite 70-year-old woman who was holding positions I could only dream about with this beautiful smile on her face. As I struggled once again to try and recreate what I was seeing up front from the teacher I realized how little flexibility I actually had.

Strength yes, I could move heavy weight but not the ability to move fully. As I’d had a back injury at 25, I had limitations of movement and a couple times a year I would not be able to get off the couch because my back hurt so badly. I thought getting older meant moving slower, having more aches and pains, and that my body would slide into what my seventy-five-year-old Dad looked like. Old! Making sounds each time he got off the couch. OH MY GOD! I’m making those sounds now!

Finally, she says to lie down and rest. My muscles felt pulled and prodded. My legs were killing me, and I didn’t know if I could stand without looking like a newborn colt. A peace washed over me as we lay still on the floor. Stillness led to the understanding that I was truly aware of my body for the first time. I was fully in my body, listening to all its tweaks, quirks, and moans. Well, maybe I should do this again.

As the class got out my teacher told me how well I had done as a first-time student. I thanked her knowing I had merely gotten through it without giving up. From that day on I knew I needed to improve flexibility and my core strength in order to improve my daily life. Living without the aches and pains I woke up with every day.

For the first five years of my yoga life I went to class religiously every week. Sometimes to a different location. Sometimes to a different style of yoga to experience the full range of what was offered.

  • Hatha
  • Vinyasa
  • Ashtanga
  • Power
  • Kundalini
  • Yin
  • Restorative
  • Yoga Nidra

I wanted to understand how my body reacted to the different styles and techniques and what it brought to me on a spiritual level. Yes, I’m talking about the part of yoga most men do not look at. The inside. The heart. The peace of mind. The calming effect of being at rest. And how being free from pain, able to move more freely, and being in your body changes your every-day quality of life.

I’ll give you some examples:

My sixteen-year-old grandson says, “Papa, let’s play basketball.” While he is a star basketball player working out and playing every day, I am a sixty-five-year-old IT guy who hasn’t played in nine months. We play for about forty-five minutes of shooting, rebounding, and running after the ball as it slides down the driveway. He thinks of it as the start of his day while it’s definitely much closer to the end of mine.

All of those unusual, haven’t done it in so long movements would have had me sore for at least a couple of days. Maybe even kicked up my sore back in my younger days. Not now! Why? Because doing yoga on a daily basis does not allow my muscles to harden and hurt the next day. It restores the flexibility and brings me back to even.

A colleague of mine is an ex-professional wrestler. He was on the circuit for years doing flips, death defying acrobatic movements, and he is a consistent weightlifter even after retiring 15 years earlier. He walked with a slight hunch and told me that his back was constantly in pain. It affected every aspect of his life and limited his ability to play with his young children. When I asked how he handled his back injury he said that he would power through even harder at times in his weightlifting. I suggested yoga and it wasn’t until the fourth time talking about how yoga had changed my life that he actually listened. Over the next couple of months he went to classes and started going twice a week and altered his weightlifting routines, so they were easier on his body.

Four months later I saw him at a meeting and was astounded to see that he was walking fully upright and was able to stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground, solid in his stance for the first time since I had known him. He thanked me profusely for insisting on yoga. With the increased core strength and stability to his back, it had relieved the constant pain that he had been having. Being free of pain changed his demeanor as he was less cranky and was able to show his true fun-loving side in conversation and throughout life.

The next example is an ex-professional hockey player I met in yoga class. We were talking about the positive aspects of yoga, and he mentioned that he wished he had found it much earlier in his life. When I asked why he said that he thought that his playing career would have been extended and that his quality of play would have been raised if he had been doing yoga workouts throughout his playing days. It shouldn’t have but it surprised me that someone at the height of their profession could see how yoga could add to their conditioning, flexibility, and ability to perform.

Each morning I get up at 5:00, not because I love getting up with our neighborhood rooster, but to get on the mat. Everyday? Yes, in some form or fashion I practice yoga. Standing, sitting, lying down, ten, twenty or forty minutes depending what my daily demands are. You only need a three by six space in your living environment to have a sanctuary of the yoga mat.

I always suggest starting weekly with a visit to a local yoga studio. Try at least three different teachers and styles to see which one you’re most comfortable with. You can use video or audio sessions to bring you through a routine, but until you feel comfortable in the forms and positions a skilled instructor is your best guide. They will adjust your body to the proper positioning for maximum effect and to make sure you aren’t going to hurt yourself.

You can do the research about how yoga benefits the body, but the aspects that you can’t measure are what it does for your spiritual, emotional, and energetic self. The clarity it brings in doing it regularly and how that clarity provides a quality of life you may not have had in years. The funny thing about aches and pains is that they tend to be in the forefront of your thoughts when you are in that state. Pain drains you energetically. It can make you less of the person you want to show up in this life.

When you read any of the great teachers and spiritual leaders throughout history they all used some form of yoga and movement to calm the mind and to meditate. Yoga allowed the great masters to sustain long hours in meditation and thought. Just think what a half hour of being in your body, listening and feeling your muscles, joints, back and legs will do for your day. It grounds your energy, anchors you into your heart, and acknowledges the body. Your physical presence is stronger, and your confidence is higher knowing your body will be there for you.

I have found that daily yoga gives me a foundation for the rest of my day and allows me to know I can take on anything throughout the day. Having physical clarity allows me to not have obstacles in walking through my day. Being free of pain enables me clarity in judgement in all things.

So, are you ready to take the brave step and join the Legion of the Mat? No matter the style of yoga, your fifty something physical level, or where you live there is a practice that will improve your life and wellbeing. And you may even find lying blissfully in the dark on a mat after an hour-long session where you were meant to be all along.

Connect with Richard on The Wellness Universe.

All information, content, and material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. The information supplied through or on this page, or by any representative or agent of The Wellness Universe, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical, legal, or other professional advice. Health-related information provided through this website is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to diagnose or treat health problems or to prescribe any medical devices or other remedies. The Wellness Universe reserves the right to remove, edit, move, or close any content item for any reason, including, but not limited to, comments that are in violation of the laws and regulations formed pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. None of the posts and articles on The Wellness Universe page may be reprinted without express written permission.

The Soul Artist Experience

Tune in to your intuition, detach from judgment, and find flow through creativity. Learn to connect to your inner guidance and develop deeper self-knowledge in fun, nurturing interactive workshops. 

Catch the replay – https://bit.ly/SoulArtistExperience

WU 4 Book ADs

see how our self-care books are helping thousands of people around the world. Digital and paperback books are available now.

Connect to the people that help you live your best life: The Wellness Universe

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *