Many people assume that yoga is a challenging activity for their parents. Are they concerned that difficult poses can harm their seniors? Or do they think flexibility, strength, and health are factors that prevent seniors from trying yoga? Well, it’s only a minor part of the story.
In fact, yoga has been known as one of the most beneficial forms of exercise for senior citizens. If you’ve been thinking about introducing yoga to your parents, we can help you learn about the benefits of senior yoga and how to get them started.
Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
Yoga benefits the physical and mental health of all ages, especially those in their golden years. Some people might hold a belief that yoga is solely about physical poses. Yoga actually encompasses a variety of self-discipline activities, such as meditation, chanting, prayer, breathwork, etc.
Here are some considerable benefits of practicing yoga for senior citizens:
Enhance Balance and Strength
At an advanced age, the risk of falls increases. This concern results in the possibility of broken bones or severe head injuries. Consequently, many yoga positions are designed for seniors to strengthen their muscles and improve core stability. These positions consist of slow and deliberate motions, which help enhance balance and movement.
In addition, yoga is a strength-building practice. Depending on the class level, approach, and trainer, yoga excels at making our seniors stronger and toning their muscles by utilizing their body weight.
The aging process causes us to lose flexibility gradually. The reasons may lie in a loss of water in tissues, stiffness in joints, or a lack of elasticity in muscles and tendons.
A range of yoga poses allows our elder family members to stretch their muscles and joints, encouraging tissues to relax and loosen. Once the muscles are looser, any muscular imbalances will be eliminated, and flexibility will develop. As a result, your parents can handle more physical stress and experience fewer injuries.
According to recent studies, our seniors receive various health outcomes from yoga, including mental health improvement. Those who practiced yoga reported feeling less stressed and experiencing a significant increase in overall wellness. Many relaxing poses, meditation, or breathwork are considered adequate for soothing anxious feelings.
Lessen Aches and Pains
Our parents can’t avoid aches and pains at an advanced age. Many research studies have looked into the effects of yoga on chronic pain and revealed promising results. Consequently, yoga is considered a helpful treatment for patients with chronic low-back pain. Also, relief from symptoms such as arthritis, headaches, neck pain, and other chronic pain issues are associated with yoga’s benefits.
Sleep disturbance is a common problem of aging which affects daytime function and causes a significant adverse effect on life. Research has indicated that yoga intervention appears to enhance senior citizens’ quality of life and sleep quality. Yoga breathing exercises can improve respiratory health, while stretching causes significant physical and mental exertion, leading to deeper sleep and fewer sleep disorders.
Beginning Yoga for Seniors
There are a wide variety of yoga styles such as Hatha, Yin, Iyengar, etc. Before reaching any new yoga regimen, practitioners should consult a healthcare provider to receive full knowledge and better guidelines. Here are some safety tips for senior citizens who are newbies to yoga practice:
- Find a qualified instructor who can provide great insight and guidance.
- Breathe slowly and deeply to help increase circulation and reduce stress.
- Don’t rush yourself to do complicated poses and respect your body’s limits.
- Use blocks, straps, or blankets for more accessible practice.
Chair Yoga for Seniors
Chair yoga is a simplified version of yoga that allows our seniors to perform poses while seated. This form of exercise enables our family members and those with disabilities to benefit from yoga without risking their safety.
Chair Yoga Poses for Seniors
- Seated cat-cow stretch
- Chair raised hands pose
- Seated side stretch
- Seated twist
- Neck stretch and shoulder rolls
Poses for building Flexibility and enhancing balance:
- Chair boat pose
- Downward facing dog with a chair
- Seated Warrior, I pose
- Seated Warrior, II pose
- Chair butterfly pose
- Pigeon pose
- Seated child pose
- Seated relaxation
The 12 Oaks Approach
You may not be used to thinking of your aging relative as someone experiencing chronic pain, sleep disorders, anxiety, and other health problems. If your senior family member needs diverse physical and mental care, our 12 Oaks managed Senior Living Communities are here to help. Many of our communities provide yoga classes with different levels and approaches for seniors. Our senior living professionals know how to create an excellent educational environment and deliver the best physical and mental care for your elder family members.
If you have questions about yoga for seniors or any conditions discussed here, connect with us and learn more.
At 12 Oaks, our team of caring professionals is dedicated to keeping residents safe, engaged, and connected to their families and friends while still leading fulfilling lives. There’s no better place to enjoy the encore season of life than at a 12 Oaks community.
For questions or to schedule a visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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