Yoga is a very beneficial practice for anyone, but it is particularly helpful for senior adults as they deal with the physical and mental challenges of getting older. Yoga is both a gentle form of exercise and a mental and emotional practice with elements of meditation and relaxation. As seniors adjust to retirement living, it’s something that’s easy and helpful to add into a daily routine. Here are just a few of the specific benefits seniors will experience from practicing yoga.
Pain Relief and Increased Range of Motion
As we age, it’s common to develop chronic pain in the muscles and joints, particularly in areas that have been injured at previous points in life. Studies have shown that the movement and flow of yoga poses can reduce the chronic pain built up in the body. Although there’s not an indication as to exactly why this happens, it may be because yoga increases flexibility in the muscles and generally improves range of motion, something else that is very important for seniors. When the body is capable of increased movement, it means seniors will be able to live relatively independently and complete daily tasks on their own later in life, without struggling with intense pain.
It’s very important for seniors to have social interaction in their lives as they transition into retirement. Yoga is a great way to add socialization into a daily or weekly routine. Having a scheduled class to attend means seniors will be regularly out of the home and will have a great opportunity to make friends. This in itself can help reduce stress and boost mood. Seniors should look for classes that are catered to their needs and skill level for the most positive experience. Some yoga studios, retirement homes, or community centers may even host classes specifically designated for seniors. Check online directories for help locating the best yoga class for your needs.
One of the biggest benefits of yoga in general is that it reduces stress levels. In our later years, it’s very important to manage stress carefully, as it can have many negative impacts on the body. Yoga is a wonderful stress reducer for many reasons. The exercise component produces endorphins, which are a chemical in the body which naturally improves moods and relaxation. The meditation component of yoga, which focuses on the breath, is also a contributor to reduced stress levels. It can help lower blood pressure, which has a positive effect on many other aspects of health. It can also improve sleep quality, which is very important for both physical and mental health.
Easy, Accessible Exercise
Another great benefit of yoga is that it’s a very easy, accessible form of exercise. Many seniors don’t realize the importance of incorporating exercise into their routine as they age. Because there are many levels and forms of yoga, it’s something anyone can do, and you can start learning at any point in your life, regardless of your current fitness level. It’s also something that is very accessible. Not only are there thousands of yoga classes held around the world every day, but you can also do yoga on your own at home with the help of online video classes. You can even find online yoga practices specifically for seniors. Once you’ve mastered the basics of your yoga class, you can take your mat anywhere and practice on the go if you’d like.
With so many health benefits of yoga, it makes a great addition to any senior’s routine. Finding senior living help can be overwhelming at first, so be sure to take advantage of resources in your area to help you find the best yoga classes and tutorials for your needs.