Nahoko Nakayama: Getting Older Means Getting Stronger

Nahoko Nakayama, Gold Medalist in the Adult Women’s 50+ Division for the Mid-West Regionals, uses age to her advantage. At age 63, her daily yoga practice provides a firm (and flexible) foundation for her success as a yoga competitor.

Nahoko, a native of Japan and a first grade teacher in Herndon, VA, began practicing 2005 at Reston Yoga. Her practice slowly evolved to a daily, committed 90-minute practice, and as a result, her postures improved.

In her second competition year, Nahoko works closely with her coach Jean Agress. In addition to her regular practice, she takes Advanced and Intermediate classes at various studios.

Why does she compete? “I want to have a goal for my every day practice, and then I can enjoy my practice more.”

To further improve for this year’s competition season, Nahoko also does training and weight lifting with Kelly Matthews at Body Shop Fitness by Design LLC, one of the Mid-West Regionals sponsors. The addition of this training is part of her strategy to build strength more.

Nahoko also enjoys meeting fellow yogis at the competitions. “Even though we are competing, everyone helps each other and encourages each other, and I really like that,” she says.

In terms of nutrition, she practices moderation, eating most foods but avoiding carbs. She loves, wine and cheese, and starts her mornings with yogurt and coffee.

Nahoko practices daily but finds time for other activities as well. Her other hobbies include traveling, painting and learning Spanish. She is also beginning to teach yoga to her first grade students. She enjoys spending time with her husband and visiting family, including her daughter in Japan.

Her advice to older adults interested in competition? “Please try it! You will enjoy it, and you will discover how wonderful the yoga world is!”

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