Yoga for Seniors: Key Benefits & Tips to Get Started

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

Yoga-based exercise programs improve balance and mobility for older people, helping prevent falls. But since balance itself is a learned skill, you can master it by developing a keener focus.

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

Pranayama breathing exercises and yogic postures have an impressive effect on lung functions. Enhancing the capacity of lungs is also possible with a dedicated healthy lungs yoga sequence.

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

Get acquainted with all types and styles of yoga before choosing some senior friendly asanas and twists. To support your way through the first attempts, there’s chair yoga for seniors.

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.

Consider some other specific exercises: yoga for migraine, poses for anxiety or calming meditation to quiet a chaotic mind.

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.

You may also try a myofascial release sequence prior to meditation or follow a beginner’s guide to chakra work. Remember: moderation is the key to every technique or practice you try.

Yoga for Golden-Agers: Summing Up

“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

You have seen some scientific benefits of yoga for seniors that enable a more balanced, healthier, inspired life.

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.

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