Many seniors think there is no way they can ever do yoga because they are not skinny enough ornot bendy like a pretzel. In fact, seniors are the ones who can benefit most from a regular yoga practice, for a number of reasons.
Strength and Stability
Yoga can be done almost anywhere, at any time. It is a low impact workout that can lead to greater strength and stability, which in turn can help prevent slips, trips and falls in older people that can often lead to other serious health issues such as a broken hip.
A Faster Metabolism and Weight Loss
Through physical movement using your own body weight, you can develop long, lean muscle, which in turn can help boost your metabolism for weight control, or even weight loss.
Mental and Physical Health
The phrase, “Healthy mind, healthy body,” goes back thousands of years, and with good reason. A strong body makes it easier to accomplish everything we need to do. Disease, or dis-ease, triggers a range of physical, emotional and spiritual issues. Yoga can help restore balance and harmony of body, mind and spirit.
Lifts Depression, Eases Anxiety
Studies have shown that one of the most common secondary health issues when someone is sick is depression. It is present in up to 75% of seniors in certain age brackets. Better mental focus means less worrying.
Regulates Blood Pressure, Reduces Cholesterol
Yoga movements increase blood circulation, which in turn can even out blood pressure. The blood will begin to flow to all parts of your body, leading to invigoration and detoxification. As the blood flows, it can start to unclog arteries blocked by waxy cholesterol.
As we age, we tend to stiffen due to lack of physical activity. Then when we do try to get up and get moving, we experience pain due to that stiffness. Yoga can get you up and moving again safely and naturally, with no fancy equipment or risky high impact moves. As your muscles and joints become stronger, your pain will lessen. Those with arthritis, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia can all experience significant pain relief through yoga.
If you’ve been struggling with any of these health issues, it’s time to get up and get moving with yoga, to see what a difference it can make in your life.
Here’s a video from The Mat Project with a full length gentle Yoga class, perfect for beginners and seniors, or just those coming back to Yoga or looking for a gentle practice. All you need is a mat and follow along: