The relaxed pace that accompanies our senior years can be enjoyable but it is important to remain active for overall health and well-being. Aging can sometimes limit the type of exercise the body is capable of. You may no longer be able to run a marathon or bench press a couple hundred pounds. Still, you need to find a way to keep your body as fit as possible, allowing you to continue doing the things you love. Yoga for seniors can be a great option.
Although the media often features images of young and svelte individuals doing acrobatic postures, the truth is that yoga is beneficial for Every Body at Any Age! Furthermore, the practice of yoga for seniors provides significant health and mental benefits.
While yoga may seem like a new fad or trend, the practice is actually thousands of years old! The methods and teachings have withstood the test of time because they are effective and powerful. Yoga is a scientific system dedicated to wellness and health for the mind, body, and spirit. It is designed to be a lifelong practice.
Yoga poses, called asanas, focus on building strength and flexibility in the entire body through gentle and accessible physical activity. Yoga poses can be modified to suit the needs of various body types and physical conditions by using supports and props such as blankets, bolsters, chairs, straps, blocks, and even walls.
Several past and recent studies document that when done properly and consistently, practicing yoga can improve circulation, help with balance, lower blood pressure and minimize hypertension. Practicing yoga is also safe for those with osteoporosis and can be effective for preventing and slowing down bone density loss. The physical poses help to strengthen the bones and support joint health through low impact, weight-bearing exercises that avoid strain.
What makes yoga unique is that it is a holistic art and integrates mental and emotional wellbeing. Through proper breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and meditation, yoga can also aid in helping to reduce stress and relieve anxiety and worry. The practices of focus and concentration that are cultivated in a yoga class help to sharpen the mind and teach the student simple approaches for creating a more relaxed state.
Many practitioners report that yoga helps to balance their moods and encourages positive thinking. Yoga boosts levels of the chemical GABA, which helps to calm nerves. Additionally, specific breathing exercises and relaxation techniques stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which transitions the body into the “rest and digest” state, reducing cortisol levels and lowering the heart rate.
Yoga for Seniors
Seniors looking to begin yoga should search for a gentle or beginner class at their local studio, gym or community center. Another approach is to identify a specific teacher who can establish a practice specific to the needs and interests of seniors. Many yoga teachers will come to your home or local clubhouse to provide personalized, small or larger group lessons. Most importantly, you want a teacher who can instruct an introductory paced class and offer assistance and knowledge to address the unique physical needs of a 55+ student.
When compared to other forms of fitness or stretching, yoga for seniors or any age group offers the full package because it is more than just exercise. Yoga supports the whole self – mind, body and spirit. It can be done independently or with friends but is never competitive or forceful. Yoga is a joyful practice that can be embraced at any age and evolves with the student.
Ready to Give Yoga a Try?
A result of her personal passion for the practice and the desire to share the self-awareness, balance and wellness it brings to her life, Yoga with Rebecca was born. It is Rebecca’s belief that every body and mind can benefit from the practice of yoga.
Think yoga for seniors could be the health and fitness solution you’ve been searching for? Explore Rebecca’s offerings or reach out to her and let Rebecca design a personalized practice that perfect for you. Begin your journey today!