You have probably heard a lot of talk these days about seniors taking yoga classes or investing in yoga DVDs but is the practice really beneficial or just a passing phase? Well, rest-assured that just because you may be only recently hearing about the practice doesn’t meant that seniors haven’t been benefiting from yoga for many years.
Yoga is an activity that anyone can do regardless of degeneration, arthritis, high blood pressure, etc. It doesn’t only make you feel better; it has been proven to alleviate symptoms of many conditions. In fact, studies have shown that many seniors have even been able to discontinue some of their medication due to a consistent regimen of yoga.
What is Yoga for Seniors?
Yoga simply refers to the practice of poses and proper breathing. Many people assume that it’s simply the act of stretching but really, it’s so much more. Yoga develops flexibility and strength which creates balance. Some poses are done quickly which creates heat while others are formed slowly to focus on perfect alignment.
In addition to achieving the poses you learn to control your breath. Your yoga practice is constantly evolving so you’ll never find yourself bored and you don’t have to be strong, in shape or flexible to get started. You can move at your own speed, progress at your own pace and you will feel the positive changes. Seniors are falling in love with yoga because it makes them feel healthy, balanced and centered. Yoga has a way to uplifting your mood, even if your day is overwhelming.
One of the most significant benefits of yoga for seniors is that it addresses chronic pain in muscles and joints. Yoga isn’t only a temporary fix, it builds your strength more and more every time so you’re less prone to aches and pains and serious injury. Seniors who participate in yoga daily for a four-week study were able to reduce their need of pain medication.
Depression is a common problem seen in seniors; yoga can help! When you find yourself balanced, you’re able to see things for what they really are. Suddenly small issues are no longer such a concern. Not only that, if you attend a yoga class, the interaction with other students has a positive effect on your mood as well. Many seniors are lacking in the social department, it’s important to get involved.
Lower Blood Pressure
Physical activity combined with calming techniques is very effective at reducing high blood pressure. Experts suggest that the controlled breathing technique associated with yoga is more soothing than listening to relaxing music or taking a long bath.
Yoga is proven to help you sleep better. Practitioners on average need less time to fall asleep, they stay asleep longer and don’t toss and turn. Quality sleep results in a better attitude and less health concerns.
Traditionally, seniors are less active which translates to less flexibility because your body’s not moving the way it once was. Better flexibility reduces your risk of injury from sudden movements like a quick slip on an icy step. You’re less likely to throw your back out and have an increased chance of reacting fast enough to grab the railing when your body is flexible.
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