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  • Writer's pictureUnwind Yoga Studio

How To Age Well With Yoga

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Sure..it is crazy to lob people into age groups and see how yoga works for them.


But, bear with me! There is a lot of research that looks at behaviours and attitudes of people towards wellbeing, and generational trends can be identified. That does not mean that every 43 year old has all the characteristics of a generic Gen X type. But from what I see at the studio, the trends are pretty accurate. Exceptions only prove the rule of course 😉


So what "Gen" are you?

Anytime a group of people is labeled a “generation,” there is stereotyping, but the classifications prove useful in understanding shared experiences, circumstances, attitudes and behaviours. A generation is defined as a group of people born in the same general time span.


According to theactiveage.com there are currently 7 generations alive alongside each other. We tend to see 4 of those represented at the studio:

  • Boomers - you are currently 57 - 76 years old

  • Gen X - you are currently 42 - 56 years old

  • Millennials - you are currently 27 - 41 years old

  • Gen Z - you are currently 12 - 26 years old



I did a little digging to see how yoga can be of benefit to people of different ages. It is so interesting to find how the approach to wellbeing changes across the generations. The findings are roughly in line with what I see day to day at the studio, and at home (I have 2 Gen Z children and one Gen Alpha child (who has grown up with yoga in his life from day 0, so that will be an interesting one to watch), my parents are Boomers. Most of our students are Millennials to Boomers.


Onward:


Boomers' Attitude To Wellbeing & Yoga

Boomers are traditionalists. They trust their GP and are only starting to carefully look at alternative and complementary therapies as true alternatives to traditional medicine. They are slowly including more organic and plant based foods in their diets, even though they grew up with food in those categories in the first place, but have been spoilt with convenience for decades. They want to age with grace and stay on top of chronic disease management.


Boomers are impressed with what yoga can do to help them achieve these goals, how strong they still are, that there is room for vastly improving their mobility, balance and strength even with just a couple of yoga sessions a week. Those boomers that join us for 3 or more classes a week see a real difference to how they respond to physical challenges, they are happier in their bodies and, therefore, happy in their minds. Physical health is overwhelmingly their priority when coming to yoga, as they are pretty satisfied with their mental, emotional and spiritual health.


Gen X' Attitude To Wellbeing & Yoga

Hello 👋 fellow Gen Xers! According to Baylor, Scott & White Health's research, we are the current generation that is the most educated, well read, we like the feeling of being (financially) secure and looking after others. We have lots of pressures pulling us in a million different directions (and that is without a pandemic or Brexit or a war at our doorsteps): jobs, family, finances, plus the pressure of looking after ourselves - a perfect storm for stress related discomfort. We struggle to manage that stress, always focused on the next achievement, the next "must-get-this-done". We want to look good, too, and we are keen to actively improve our health and wellbeing. We are more open to alternative methods of achieving wellbeing than the boomers are, and we often have the money to do so.


Gen X' love that yoga is the perfect antidote to the hectic life we live - whether we are athletes, or doing our running in the form of chasing children and pets, yoga offers balance. We love that yoga keeps us flexible, strong and fit. We slowly begin to realise the benefits on our mental health, too - the constant worrying about ageing parents, children, jobs, the world interrupts our sleep and we come to yoga to still the chatter, to find peace, to pause. Having grown up in a world where (stress induced) mental illness was taboo, we are keen to explore and experience the benefits that yoga and meditation give us in this realm, even if we are yet to openly speak about mental illnesses. Our focus, however, is often still on the physical aspect of Western yoga, and we find all sorts of excuses, why meditation isn't for us (🐒).



Millennials' Attitude To Wellbeing & Yoga

Millennials are the first generation that never knew a world without technology. They are an optimistic bunch, ready to change the world for the better, and believing they can. They have even less trust in doctors than Gen X' and are very open to alternative healthcare. Millennials have a holistic view of their wellbeing and include physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing, keen to take care of all of these aspect of their wellbeing. Millennials appreciate experiences more than things.


Millennials love yoga. They embrace it for the above reason: yoga gives them the perfect opportunity to look after their physical, mental, emotional and social wellbeing all in one go. They are open to technology based fitness and wellbeing and drive the expansion of wellbeing, health and fitness apps. Our millennial students love stepping away from their technology, though, as the studio gives them what tech cannot - human interaction, true community, giggles and fun, which support their emotional and social wellbeing. Plus, they get th