Yoga And The Aging Body with Linda Sparrowe

April 10, 2015


Yoga and the Aging Body

Podcast featuring Dr. Beth Berila and Linda Sparrowe


Many of us in the West are taught to resist aging. The mainstream yoga culture still places a great deal of emphasis on youth and flexibility. But Sparrowe sees yoga as “a companion for life.” It can help us be present and kind with ourselves in the inevitable and vibrant journey of aging.

“People think about yoga as transformation. But it’s not about transforming our bodies….it’s about transforming our relationship to our bodies.”

She shares with us how to take internal inventories to give ourselves what we need and how to approach our practice lovingly, whatever our age and experience with yoga.


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Linda Sparrowe
Linda Sparrowe

Linda Sparrowe is writer, editor, teacher, and mentor in the holistic healing arena, with a special emphasis on women’s health and yoga. As the former editor-in-chief of Yoga International magazine and past managing editor of Yoga Journal, Linda has been instrumental in bringing the authentic voice of yoga to thousands of yoga teachers and practitioners. Linda co-leads the Courageous Women, Fearless Living retreats for women touched by cancer.

She has recently written two books, YogaMama and Yoga At Home, which are both due out Fall 2015. She is on the advisory board of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition and contributed a chapter in the book Yoga and Body Image.[/box]

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Dr. Beth Berila
Dr. Beth Berila

Beth Berila, Ph.D., LLC, RYT is the Director of the Women’s Studies Program and Professor in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota.  She is also a registered yoga teacher and is completing her 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training program at Devanadi School of Yoga and Wellness.

She is a founding board member of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition. Her current projects merge yoga and meditation practices with feminism and mindful education to create a form of socially engaged embodied learning.[/box]


  1. Candi

    YBIC is here at the right time ! I enjoyed listening to Linda Sparrowe about aging and yoga, and would like to add my thoughts. As a 63 year old woman, I enjoy my energetic vinyasa flow classes, and am dismayed when I read articles that point people over 50 to restorative and therapeutic yoga classes. I feel those classes have an important space in all people’s lives no matter what their age, and is a choice when your body is telling you it needs something different. Most yogis I know in my community of active people, take a mix of classes depending on their body’s needs. For me, I go to a vinyasa class to feel the pranayama, the beat, the flow, and my body going through the familiar patterns to feel strength and peace. It isn’t something I find in all types of yoga. I think we need to encourage all bodies, “making yoga accessible, body-positive and reflecting the full range of human diversity”regardless of age or physicalities, to take part in all classes; not to think that a class is too hard or too fast.

    In one article on a different site, the author put forth the idea that it’s “important at this age (50s and 60s) “ to make decisions that limit injury.” Including minimizing or omitting forward folds and sun salutations because of blood pressure, bone health, etc. The author went on to say that in our “later years” we should look deeper into yoga teachings and savasana. Say it isn’t so !

    I want to disagree with the author’s assumptions about aging. I feel better both physically and mentally when I am moving, flowing, with or without the use of props. As the pictures on YBIC show so beautifully, is that props are for helping you attain a pose, not something for the “aging”.

    Unfortunately, we’ve all been in classes which make you feel unwelcome, but I think organizations such as YBIC are opening up conversations about ALL bodies in yoga! Find those classes and teachers that make all feel welcome, and FLOW together… those studios!

  2. Virginia H.

    So right on! At 66, the ability to move with joy is a gift to be celebrated, not taken for granted, and USED! Forward folds & sun salutations? My favorites!

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