By Alejandra Leyva for for Yoga Medicine®.
“Yoga? At this age?! I’m old, I’m tired, my bones creak and crack… Mind you, they may break during the simplest exercise!”
That’s how a 76-year-old woman once reacted to her daughter’s suggestion to try yogic exercises.
Yoga is for everyone! That’s an undeniable fact.
But if you still need some evidence that yogic practices are highly advantageous for an aging body, here you go.
Read the list of proven benefits of yoga for senior adults before scrolling further and learning some useful tips on how to get started with yoga in a risk-free way, if you’re at an older age.
Why Seniors Need to Practice Yoga: Essential Advantages
Makes the Body More Flexible
According to the study, slow/passive movements and stretching techniques of hatha yoga, for example, contribute to improvements in the flexibility of the elderly.
Reduces the Risk of Losing Balance
Strengthens Muscles & Bones
Noticing muscle weakness with age, seniors should try yogic practices to tone
muscles. Besides, yoga is another way to prevent osteoporosis. If performed daily, some poses increase bone density. They strengthen the spinal cord and eliminate long-term back pain, on top of that.
Helps the Cardiovascular System
Yoga benefits the heart, namely, it improves the cholesterol and blood sugar levels and lowers blood pressure. Moreover, stretches help combat arterial stiffness, diminishing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Enhances Lung Capacity
Mindful breathing (even for a couple of minutes) not only cleanses the air passages, but also renews your wellness and helps you feel better emotionally and mentally.
Boosts Mental Health
Practicing self-care and meditation, you can boost your mental health.
Especially, living in a stress stricken environment or under oppressive circumstances. As an effective stress-and-fear buster, yoga reduces symptoms of
anxiety. There are some truly incredible stories of its healing potential, too.
Improves Sleep Quality
Bedtime yoga, for instance, alleviates insomnia and guarantees a deeper sleep.
Increases Immunity & Cuts Healthcare Expenses
Therapeutic yogic techniques boost the immune function, decrease healthcare
expenses and help you postpone life insurance till 80.
Must-Follow Tips for Seniors to Easily Start Yoga: What to Consider Beforehand & How to Begin
The preparatory stage should start with learning how the physical changes with age impact the practice needs of seniors. Afterwards, follow the below tips for older adults on how to begin practicing
1) Choose an Appropriate Type of Yoga
Concentrating on a proper exercise type for an aging body, you might want to pick a slow-flowing style and gentle yoga or therapeutic water yoga, for example.
2) Get Equipped Before Starting Yoga
Here’s the list of supplies and things senior adults might definitely need for a yoga class:
- Proper and convenient clothes from ethical yoga brands
- A tightly-knit yoga blanket or mat
- Yoga block + belt
- A meditation pillow or bolster (take a look at the best yoga pillows)
- A chair without arms (in case you go with chair yoga), etc.
3) Decide on the Settings & Atmosphere
Sometimes, gyms and studios may not seem the right places to fully relax and feel comfortable. You may always create the ideal space to practice yoga at home.
Without the fear that someone may hear your bones cracking, take advantage of on-demand yoga classes with professional instructors. Alternatively, join live yoga classes to become a part of the virtual community in real time.
4) Start at Your Minimum & Practice in Moderation
When the stiffness speaks with creaks and cracks, you need to set realistic goals. Prepare your mind and body and start very slowly with the best yoga poses for beginners.
Yoga for Golden-Agers: Summing Up
“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Ready to see now how yoga can transform your life and sprinkle your golden age with some precious and mindful moments?
If you’re not sure yet concerning a good starting point, you may ask your doctor about the yoga type that fits your health condition the most or consult a therapeutic specialist straight away.
P.S.: The 76-year-old woman mentioned at the beginning of the article is already taking her ninth class.