So you want to learn to fly, but first you want to be sure: is Yogi Flight School any good for older students?
Actually, I was just the same before I joined. To be totally honest, I almost didn’t join because of wondering that: was the course any good and more to the point, was it right for ME?
So originally I passed on it.
If you don’t know much about Yogi Flight School you might want to check out my in depth review.
- Am I Too Old to Join Yogi Flight School?
- After Doubting, How did I Decide to Join YFS?
- Any Doubts Before Joining YFS?
- What You Should Know Before Joining Yogi Flight School
- Final Thoughts: Is Yogi Flight School Good for Older Students?
Am I Too Old to Join Yogi Flight School?
The fear of wasting my money on something which I would later opt out of, feel inadequate for or just be plain old bored of, was too much of a reality for me to take the leap into the unknown.
I’m too old. I’m not flexible enough. I’m not strong enough. Or sub for whatever other limiting beliefs we usually limit ourselves with.
That was me.
I couldn’t help it. I even thought I was being positive – stating the truth.
After all, I reasoned, I’m 55, post menopausal, a fraction of the strength and flexibility of when I was younger, and on top of all that, I’ve only ever done yoga alone at home.
This was too much of a gamble for me to just jump right in. (I didn’t know about the free course until later.)
When I eventually did join YFS, I actually said out loud, ‘I don’t expect to be able to do handstand but I’m here to learn whatever I can‘.
That was my disclaimer to not look stupid in front of people on a course beyond my ability. (Laugh out loud, little did I know about Nat’s philosophy.)
And I actually thought I was being positive!! Hahaha.
I now say I’m in the course for everything. Handstand’s even one of my goals now. Unabashedly, shamelessly, decadently looking forward to balancing on my hands. Why did I feel the need to say I wasn’t there for handstand?
Only here for the non-handstand, guys!
Yup, fear of being a fish-out-of-water, syndrome.
If there’s a fish in your garden hanging out with the puppies, he might start excusing himself that he’s not about to play ball. Or fetch. Or run at all for that matter.
Did I feel silly? I don’t know.
Did I think I wasn’t good enough to be there so just had to explain myself? Sure.
Another thing’s for sure too though; if a 55 year old were to hang out with 70 year olds who all do handstands, the 55 year old won’t think they’re too old and they won’t think it’s crazy to learn handstand.
So it’s all a matter of perspective.
Of course, you don’t have to want to do handstand to enjoy the course. There’s so much you can learn without the handstand. But don’t let it be your ego stopping you.
For some of us, handstand truly isn’t our goal and that’s fine. For yet others, we may know that our bodies won’t take handstand.
For those among us who don’t feel excited by handstand, the course is still worth it. Handstand’s just one of the many poses that are taught.
We can just do the ones that appeal and ignore the ego when it tries to stop you (probably even before you get started).
You can join the self-study version of the course at any time in the year and practise it until you master the poses.
Or, you can go for the live version which includes a weekly live masterclass but only opens its doors for enrolment a few times a year.
After Doubting, How did I Decide to Join YFS?
I was lucky.
The reason I eventually took the decision to roll up my sleeves and get balancing was because my daughter joined YFS first.
And she told me that I could also achieve great things on the inside. That Nat says you aren’t too old. Or too weak. Or not flexible enough.
That those things get better with the training.
And just as my daughter’s experience clarified the course for me, I hope in turn to help shed light on it for you.
Nat says we’ve got it all back-to-front, expecting to be strong and flexible and ready before even beginning a training. The journey makes you those things!
And that shifted my perspective enough for me to join. (Whew, thank goodness for that.)
Before that conversation with my daughter, to be honest, I looked at the pictures and thought that I’d like to do it theoretically, like one day, you know, if/when I’m strong enough. Blah. Fit enough. Blah. Young enough hahahaha.
Oops can’t turn that one backwards, can we!
So I guess we just have to do things with our older age or miss out forever!! No way José, we’re not going to let life slip through our hands without grabbing it!
Any Doubts Before Joining YFS?
So here are some of the doubts which might saturate you before you join YFS, along with my answer to them.
As well as some juicy tidbits for you to know before joining.
#1 Am I Good Enough at Yoga to Join Yogi Flight School?
So that pesky little voice in your head tells you you’re not good enough at yoga?
Me too. I thought this course was for ‘better’ yogis. After all, I wasn’t a youthful-ninja-yogi who could spring around, double over and do chaturanga like a dream.
No, I was a post menopausal woman who had lost any strength she ever had to the great menopause experience and who wasn’t particularly athletic or flexible to boot.
My first thought was: ‘I’ll never be able to do handstand, but maybe I could learn side crow and some other arm balances. Maybe I could get something else out of the course.’
In fact, when I first joined, I was still hanging on to my limiting-negativity, without even realising it. Only once the course advanced did I realise that we’re ALL welcome here.
We’re all ninjas!
And we can ALL do it! Because it isn’t about the result, it’s about the journey. The journey brings strength. The journey brings flexibility. The journey gives us the ability.
And during the course (so far) I’ve also learned several life lessons which go beyond the asanas and help me in my daily life.
And we’re all on this journey together. It’s one of the most supportive environments I’ve come across so far in my life.
That’s the attitude from Nathania and from the rest of the great coaches on the inside.
Conclusion: You are good enough even if you’re a complete beginner.
#2 Am I too Old to Do Arm Balances and Inversions?
Just a few months ago I thought this.
Now I believe we should blow it out of the water, like forever.
We mustn’t give away our power by labelling ourselves old.
When we’re 30, we are ‘old’ in the eyes of our 20 year old self. Then we hit the dreaded 40, gasp, there we go again – we’re soo old.
And 50? Now we KNOW we’re in the old-people’s-club.
But the truth is we aren’t old until we call ourselves old. We’re just older than we were yesterday and YOUNGER than we’ll be tomorrow. So we’re actually young if we flip our perspective hahaha.
We’re older than our kids, yeah. But if we can still get on the yoga mat and do some asanas, that’s good enough for me.
And by doing young stuff we stay younger.
So if you’ve wondered if you’re too old, you can forget that thought.
There are all age groups in the course at YFS. That’s part of what makes it so awesome: all age groups and all levels. And it still works.
Conclusion: you’re never to old to push your boundaries and enjoy trying new things!
#3 Will I Look Stupid if I Can’t do a Pose in Yogi Flight School?
I was a bit nervous about the live classes and about not being able to do whatever I thought I was supposed to be able to do.
Subconsciously I was worried about looking stupid. And the reason for this comes from the idea that people are laughing at me for joining in the first place.
But nobody thinks like that in this course. And nobody can look stupid for trying to break out of their comfort zone, or for giving it their best shot.
Conclusion: nobody looks stupid!
#4 Is Yogi Flight School Only About Arm Balances and Inversions?
Worried that inversions aren’t really your thing? I also wondered about that because I didn’t actually mind, in the beginning, whether or not I could do inversions.
I knew I wanted to improve my yoga. In fact I’d been looking into teacher training courses because I wanted to improve and connect deeper to my yoga practice.
So the idea of doing a year of inversions made me slightly edgy that it might not be right for me.
But the course isn’t only about inversions. Sure, they’re the main focus so if you really don’t like arm balances or inversions then this probably isn’t the right choice for you. But if you’re at all interested in them, then chill. There’s other yoga skills in this too.
And throughout the process you get stronger. You get suppler. You get wiser. And you get more confidence.
So much of the course will help you off the mat as well as on the mat.
And at the end of every 8 week cycle there’s 4 weeks of yoga classes (if you’re on the live course.)
Conclusion: valid concern if you really hate the idea of doing arm balances and inversions but not if you’re just mediocre interested – then this is still a great option.
#5 What if I’m Too Weak for Arm Balances?
When I hit menopause, my muscle vanished. Before that, as a younger person, I used to be strong compared to the girls/women around me. Nothing major, but I could lift and stack 35kg bales of hay no problem.
Then suddenly, whooosh. All gone. Weak as hell.
So surely I was too weak to join the YFS course?
Nathania explains this very early on. We have the whole process back-to-front. We don’t need to be strong to start learning how to do something – it’s the learning that builds the strength!
Conclusion: we all have to work within the body which we have and being weak obviously is a part of that but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the course! Build strength during the process, don’t think you have to be strong to join it.
What You Should Know Before Joining Yogi Flight School
So you’re going for it.
Signing up for YFS and excited to start flying!
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts before you sign up.
- If you want to fly, you need to do the work. You need to practise between the workshops so that you build up your ability.
- Be prepared to repeat the modules (maybe many times!).
- Video yourself so you can self-correct your alignment.
- Post videos in the group for correction, positive encouragement and support.
- Don’t expect to change too fast. Progress takes time (for most of us).
- Don’t compare yourself to others who are more advanced than you are.
- Don’t listen to your ego if, one day in class it whines that you can’t do this pose. Because we can always try and that’s where the progress happens, in stretching our comfort zone.
- Embrace your journey!!
- Never give up!!
- Be persistent!!
Final Thoughts: Is Yogi Flight School Good for Older Students?
It’s the place to be! And it isn’t one of those boring old farty places for old-at-heart people, it’s a young and vibrant place for all ages, definitely including us oldies.
As long as you have it in you to follow through with the course and be persistent, I’m confident you’ll get loads out of it.
And of course you might get days when you wish you could do more. When you hear that little voice making up stories in your head. It’s just a matter of learning to ignore the voice and persevere no matter what.
In my research I found hundreds of positive comments but I was searching for something negative and I found one comment from somebody who had complained that the course starts with crow pose, which is too difficult for a first lesson, in their opinion.
That person hadn’t listened very well. You don’t have to DO crow on your first lesson. You learn about crow. You TRY.
And so it goes on. You do what you can, when you can. And then rinse and repeat.
The only other negative comment I could find was one that said they hadn’t mastered the poses after 4 weeks and no home practise. This just isn’t realistic.
You need to do the work, see it as fun, do your thing and enjoy the progress. You have a whole year ahead of you!! Whoo whoo!!!
Imagine, a whole year of lessons! I’m so excited by that! I know that I have the time to invest to make real progress.
I hope this helps you to get an insight into what it’s like to be a member of Yogi Flight School. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments section and I’ll be happy to do my best to answer.
For me, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.