In recent years, many people have found real benefits in practicing yoga. As an active adult, you may be wondering whether yoga might be a good fit in your wellness plan.
Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
The evidence is clear. People of all ages experience a range of benefits from yoga practice. These include greater strength and flexibility, along with better breathing, sleep, and mood. Some of these benefits address senior-specific concerns. For example, regular yoga practice can lead to better balance, which is important for seniors as improved balance can help prevent falls.
Before Starting a Senior Yoga Practice
It's important to talk to your doctor before beginning yoga or any other exercise regimen. Your physician can let you know if there are any poses or techniques that you ought to avoid.
Many experts recommend that seniors take an in-person class rather than following along with a video at home. This is because certified yoga instructors can provide one-on-one training, support, and advice. In fact, some instructors specialize in teaching yoga to older adults and can modify poses to accommodate your needs.
Senior Yoga Poses
The following poses have been suggested as particularly suitable for seniors. However, everyone is different. Speak to your physician as well as your yoga instructor about any health concerns you might have so that select the appropriate poses for you.
In the tree pose, you stand upright in place one foot up on your inner thigh. Your hands should be placed together in the “prayer” position. This pose can be particularly good for keeping your hips mobile.
In the mountain pose, you stand erect with your hands down by your sides. Breathe deeply and tighten your abdominal muscles when doing so. This pose can help improve balance and posture.
This pose provides exercise for the abdominals and can strengthen muscles around your spine. Get down on your hands and knees on the mat and extend one arm in front of you and your opposite side leg in back of you. Breathe and then switch sides.
For additional hip flexibility, as well as an opportunity to enjoy a self-massage, sit straight on the mat and bring the soles of your feet together.
Yoga classes are a holistic wellness practice. Not only do you get to enjoy the benefits of physical wellness, but you also enjoy new intellectual endeavors as you learn new things. In addition, you can make meaningful social connections with your classmates and instructors. Talk to your doctor and give yoga a try.