Looking at the famous photographs of BKS Iyengar - the grey-haired, bendy-bodied yoga guru (born, so we're told, in 1918) – might have one of two effects. First, to inspire awe at how this form of physical exercise, popularised in the west in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, can keep an individual strong and flexible, never mind at fortysomething but nudging towards a century old.
Those who can't even touch their toes, however, may equally take one
look and despair. Because at 80-plus, Iyengar (who's still going strong)
is still effortlessly touching his toes - not by bending forwards, but
backwards, like a scarily supple Cirque de Soleil act.
unlikely, of course, that anyone who embraces yoga in mid-life is ever
going to be able to pipe-cleaner themselves into Iyengar-esque
backbends. But there is certainly evidence that yoga can help fight all
manner of challenges that ageing bodies (not to mention minds) face:
loss of bone density, stiffness, hardening of the arteries, hormonal
fluctuations, mild depression ... If yoga's starting to sound like a
universal panacea – well, there are plenty of yoga teachers who'd argue
it is indeed just that.
Source - Guardian