I think we can all agree that any age group can, and should, practice yoga regularly…so why dig into the reasons those of us specifically in our 30s should be practicing? Well, you see, this time frame is like the puberty of adulthood.
The struggle of walking directly into being considered a legit "grown-up" and having to actually make more responsible choices is real folks! It's not like your 20s where you claim you're responsible, and then stay up all night with your crush, or for that band you love.
You stay up too late in your 30s and the next day is a black hole of despair, so instead you sport terry cloth pajamas and stream Netflix till 10pm, then fall asleep with the dog in your arms.
So, let’s get real for a moment and talk about the things that happen in our 30s that perhaps we have been unwilling to look at that yoga might be able to help us with!
1. Staying Sane
OK, OK, sure, this goes for any age group, but frankly in your 30's you suddenly realize you're an actual adult and things get heavy(-er). Life starts looking a little different, and things start changing emotionally.
This can be very challenging, so use the philosophical practice of yoga, as much as the physical yoga practice, to transition through this period smoothly and begin to build your new shiny future with optimism instead of fear.
2. Shape Shifting
Face it, we're just not in our 20s anymore—everything goes to our thighs, belly, or worse yet, our upper back and arms! Yikes! Working out is no longer just for fun (or to scope out the local talent), now it's about maintenance!
Prevention is key, and staying active throughout your 30s with something that keeps us long and lean, like yoga, is the best way to do it! Yoga is also great for metabolism so there's the added bonus of staying balanced and in-tune with your digestive tract.
3. Creaky Stuff
Is it me, or do your feet hurt more than they used to in those wonderful high-heels? Have your hips started creaking too, or is that only my bursa making noise as I hopefully squeeze myself into last years skinny jeans? I'm also positive my neck hurts more and doesn't turn as much as it used to…is that a thing?
Yup, it's true, in your 30s, body parts suddenly start to just slightly droop, slow down, somewhat creak, and possibly even ache at the end of the day. Prevent all of that from getting worse with a little extra time on your yoga mat.
4. Biology 101
It's natural for men and women's hormone levels to change variably as we get older, go through stressful times, have kids, etc. And as those hormones change and interact, they create mood tendencies. For most of us it's "Goodbye 29, and HELLO mood swings, depressive tendencies and sudden anxiety!" GAH!
For men, this can mean a drop in testosterone and yoga will help curb the emotional swing that can come with that (and its hair loss). For women, it can affect menstrual symptoms, mood swings and (more) cramps. For all of us, it changes how we handle the effects of stress, playing tic-tac-toe with our cortisol levels, and encouraging anxiety, depression and mood swings.
This is not a happy gift. But guess what? Yoga helps! First, the postures and breathing techniques move and oxygenate the blood wonderfully, which curbs cramps, improves mood, and smooths hormone fluctuations. Second, the eight limbs of the yoga tradition teaches us to think before we bark, listen before we take something to heart, and breathe before we leave the house into a world of questions about when we will be popping out babies or buying a house, or tying the knot.
Repeat after me: “at-ha yo-ga anu-sha-san-am” “Now the practice of yoga begins.”
5. Last Night's Wine
OK, perhaps not all people in their 30s are experiencing this, but it seems to me like a lot of us "gym it" in the morning, scale the rush hour traffic to get to work, sink into a busy beehive day, then come home to have to cook a "healthy-first" meal, do a load of laundry, and THEN…finally, sink into a cozy arm chair with only one way to unwind—wine.
Booooo! Let's replace some of this yucky "go-go-go" mentality with a yoga class that either takes the "need" for "a relaxing glass" out of the picture, or at least helps move yesterday's toxins out of the body!
And there you have it, 5 reasons you should regularly practice yoga in your 30s! It’s simple, really—we should practice for a better life! What's your number one reason for practicing yoga?
Image credit: Jesslef