Yoga for Seniors

    Many of us know that yoga is a strength building and rejuvenating exercise for many. There are designated poses (some that even look seemingly impossible) that help promote relaxation, proper blood flow, and improved muscle tone. However, what most of you probably don’t know is that you can participate this exercise no matter what your age may be. Yoga is not just for “young” people anymore. There are many older folks following modified, or even chair positions that help increase mobility and strength at the same time. If you are reading this article, there is probably a modified exercise that could work for you.

    Surprisingly, seniors are becoming increasingly engaged in these exercises as a result of not only improved mobility, but increased energy as well. The ladies in the youtube video linked below are amazed at their own progress, and absolutely love the ways that yoga has helped them. There is another lady in particular who was able to receive assistance doing exercises along with a group in their chairs. The interesting thing about yoga is that you don’t have to do poses in full in order to receive its benefits. What ever is a challenge to the individual is exercise in itself.1 It is about the progress toward improving one’s strength and mobility which is perhaps most important. Remember that in order to improve, you need to exercise to your full-hearted capacity in order to reach beyond your initial limit. If this doesn’t sound appealing just yet, read on…

    Something else to consider is the safety of your mobility, whether now or down the line. As Hatha yoga makes a person strong, limber, and toned, it also improves balance.2 This is especially important as aging progresses, that can help protect against accidental falls in the future. You can say that while yoga does make you more mobile, it can even help you maintain your independence as well. Independence is not just a convenience factor, but a positive emotional mindset to consider.

    Continuing on with this idea, yoga drastically improves mental wellbeing in many ways. In the quiet rejuvenating exercises, many notice improvement in their stress levels. Emotionally, it can ward against depression that may accrue as one ages. Hatha yoga in particular, encourages mental presence, and a clearing of outer distractions. At times, it may not be about avoiding stress, but simply finding time to take care for yourself that really makes a difference. Don’t forget that you need to be taken care of as well.

    Another factor which is interesting in these people’s improvements is that they find it to be a supporting community among other seniors who are looking to become active. It is an unfortunate truth that many seniors don’t have the support system or company around them that may have been stronger in the past. This additional support network can be very beneficial in itself. Additionally, this support can even encourage your persistence in attending the sessions regularly. Just like anything, you only improve by persistent effort.

    In the end, yoga is something to seriously consider for your health and wellbeing. It aids in mobility, strength, safety, emotional wellness, and social connectivity. Don’t let the term “yoga” scare you away. If you are imagining yourself to be too old or too out of shape, there are probably seniors in worse shape than you are. Consider giving it a try for a few sessions and see how you like it. I would be interested in hearing if you have ever tried it, or even if this article inspired you to take on the challenge! For further inspiration, check out the youtube video I have linked below. If you don’t believe me, you can hear it from these inspirational ladies.

Video: Yoga for Senior Citizens

1 http://www.iyengar-yoga.com/yoga/
2 http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/2011/03/30/yoga-for-women-aging-gracefully/