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Yoga For Seniors – A Healthy Alternative
by Lisa Bradford 

 

 

Editor's Note from Brooke Nisbet: A great activity for seniors is yoga training. The gentle postures (asanas) and slow, centered movements of Hatha Yoga are the perfect way to loosen tight joints and relieve pain. Low impact exercise (and the right type of exercises) is crucial for staying healthy – not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

 

As we age, our bodies go through numerous changes. Senior citizens often face health challenges such as arthritis, which affects the joints and decreases flexibility. Also, bone density decreases and energy levels may not be what they used to be. All of that can affect fitness levels and limit the types of exercises in which they can take part in. High impact activities, such as jogging, might be replaced with walking or swimming. Another great activity for seniors is Yoga training. The gentle postures (asanas) and slow, centered movements of Hatha Yoga are the perfect way to loosen tight joints and relieve pain. Low impact exercise (and the right type of exercises) is crucial for staying healthy – not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.

Some people might be a bit hesitant about taking up Yoga, especially if they have never practiced it before or if it has been a long time since they last practiced asana, pranayama or meditation. Seniors might be unsure of their ability level or skeptical of the need some of the poses. However, with proper guidance, including advice about the practical application of techniques and breathing, many people of all ages have found Yoga to be a wonderful way to improve one’s life. Along with adding strength and flexibility, it can help decrease one’s stress levels. Practicing Yogic techniques can certainly add a sense of satisfaction and purpose to a person’s life that they have been missing before. Since there are so many variations to the asanas, they can be modified for any person who might have certain physical limitations. One such example is Chair Yoga. Poses can be done while seated in the chair. During the standing and balance poses, the chair can be used for extra support.

One of the best things about Yoga is that it can be practiced every day. It is a form of exercise (as well as a way of life) that is accessible to almost everyone, even people who have never tried it. It is particularly good for people who want to get into better shape but may have certain physical limitations due to injury or age. In the thousands of years that Yoga has been practiced it has definitely shown that it is a very adaptable form of exercise that can benefit almost anyone.

 

© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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