6 Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

Back Pain, Health & Wellness, Physical Therapy

Yoga Improves Balance and Stability
Good balance is crucial to seniors. Many yoga poses improve both balance and stability by both training the muscles to support the body, and by focusing the mind. Strengthening muscles and improving balance reduces the likelihood of falls, which can be a common concern for elderly. Not only does it prevent falls in the first place, but increasing strength and stability also helps seniors bounce back and recover more quickly.

Yoga Improves Flexibility and Joint Health
If you’re looking for a gentle exercise that increases flexibility, yoga is a great choice. Yoga makes stiff achy joints much more flexible. Researchers have also found that yoga is an effective way to manage osteoporosis in elderly women. Not only can these low-impact moves loosen your muscles, they can also tone and support the underlying muscles which can help prevent injury.

Yoga Improves Respiration
As we age, respiration is often reduced. Because of the close tie between the heart and breathing, proper respiration is of utmost importance. Many yoga practices focus on breathing. The increased breathing and lung capacity provides many wonderful health benefits, including cardiovascular improvements, clearer thinking, and improved blood circulation.

Yoga Reduces High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure, can lead to cardiovascular disease and is the second leading cause of kidney disease. Recent studies have found that yoga reduces high blood pressure and “oxidative stress” in the elderly. Oxidative stress is one of the underlying causes of high blood pressure and, especially for seniors, is a strong risk factor for heart attacks.

Yoga Reduces Anxiety
Yoga classes are calm and relaxing for your body and mind—especially those geared toward seniors. When practiced regularly, yoga can reduce your sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response, which can cause inflammation and wreak havoc on your mind and body. Yoga practice involves focusing on the breath and slow movements, which can help relax the body and mind.

Yoga Encourages Mindfulness
One of the benefits of yoga is that it slows practitioners down so that they can focus and relax the mind.

As you practice yoga and become mindful of not just your body, but also of your thoughts and emotions, you will become more connected to your self and your body. You will develop a deeper awareness of your body and your inner self, freeing you from worry and doubt and contributing to an overall sense of peace and well-being.

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