Yoga for Seniors: A Therapeutic Practice for Healthy Aging [The Ultimate Guide]

Oct 10th, 2022
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It’s never too late to start yoga. You can do it while young, up to the point when you constantly find yourself searching about yoga for seniors – YouTube or yoga for seniors near me.

In 2010, a National Health Survey revealed that most Singaporeans aged 50 to 69 adopted a sedentary lifestyle while consuming energy-dense and unhealthy meals. Years may have gone by, but it doesn’t erase the fact that it is more enticing for older individuals to become less active.

Do not allow yourself to become part of the unhealthy data. This article will focus on the benefits of yoga poses for seniors, why it’s crucial to become part of the yoga movement, and how you can start making yoga part of your lifestyle.

We will also tackle the yogasana postures suited for the elderly, including chair yoga, which is increasingly gaining popularity through the years.

Whether you are an elderly who is ready to become healthier or elderly caregivers, you will learn a lot from this piece. Let’s begin your journey to understanding fitness and wellness through yoga.

The Benefits of Yoga For Seniors

Yoga promotes mind and body connection. It comprises a combination of relaxation, deep breathing, strengthening, and stretching yoga poses.

The movements or poses in yoga are called asanas. They can be modified depending on the practitioner’s ability and strength. You can have the yogasana postures tweaked to make them easier for you to follow, especially if you are a senior citizen.

This is why the practice is safe and beneficial for senior citizens regardless of their ability or fitness levels. Yoga can provide more strength exercises without stressing your joints, which typically happens when you do jogging or weightlifting.

It is best to talk to your doctor before doing yoga to ensure that you are fit for the poses. Here’s a look at the benefits of yoga for seniors:

1.   Yoga reduces stress

Yoga for seniors can come in handy as a tension and stress reliever. Continued practice of proper breathing techniques for the right poses yoga you need to learn will decrease your nervous system activity.

This will result in healthy blood pressure levels and the gradual decline of your dependence on medications.

2.   Yoga improves your balance

Many yoga poses are steady, calculated, and slow. This is why they are easy for many elderly citizens to follow the steps. Like other exercises, you may feel wobbly at first, but you will soon get the hang of it. The movements will give you a better grip and a more stable stance. They will reduce your risk of falling as you improve core stability and strengthen your abdominal muscles.

3.   Yoga makes your bones stronger

You will benefit from having an improved bone density by making yoga for seniors part of your lifestyle. This is beneficial for men and women, especially those undergoing postmenopausal symptoms.

By having stronger bones, you will have a reduced risk of suffering from osteoporosis and brittle bones as you age. This will make it easier for you to adapt comfortably to your body changes, even in your senior years.

4.   Yoga gives you an improved flexibility

Yoga flexes your muscles and bones. The poses will boost your range of motion as you continue with the practice.

Each time you hold a pose for several deep breaths, the connective tissues and all your muscles will learn to relax and loosen. You can do the yoga poses as your stretching exercises.

5.   Yoga promotes better sleep

Many seniors are finding it hard to go or stay in a deep sleep. They are easily distracted by various factors, including their surroundings and own movements or noises.

Yoga for seniors over 70 helps those with insomnia overcome the condition. Anyone aged 60 and above can benefit from having quality and sufficient sleep, especially when they do yoga daily at home and participate in yoga classes at least twice a week.

What Type of Yoga is Best for Seniors?

There are three most popular yoga styles suited for seniors:

  • Therapeutic yoga
  • Gentle yoga
  • Chair yoga

You may have already encountered these three while searching for yoga for seniors over 70 or free yoga for seniors. This is because the three provide the safest and gentlest movements, perfect for the elderly, including those who may be suffering from certain illnesses but are interested in keeping fit.

Yoga for elderly beginners does not require flexibility or experience. You only have to find the right type and get someone to assist or teach you about the safe practice of your chosen yoga style.

Therapeutic yoga for seniors

This holistic yoga approach focuses on the body, spirit, and mind. It aims to improve a person’s functional fitness, reduce depression and anxiety, and boost cardiovascular health.

Therapeutic yoga is done with the help of a qualified trainer. They will apply yoga poses for seniors that can help alleviate specific health conditions.

This aims to make you feel better and come out of each session with a healthier state of balance.

Gentle yoga for seniors

This milder form of yoga suits the weaker stance and strength of elderly individuals. It focuses on yoga styles that are:

  • Restorative
  • Meditative
  • Less intense
  • Non-strenuous

This yoga for seniors typically includes low-impact movements, seated poses, and stretching. Your trainer will tweak the movements depending on your capability and overall health.

Here are some of the things you can expect in doing gentle yoga:

  • Poses yoga modifications depending on your level of fitness
  • Poses you can hold for a more extended period
  • More warm-up exercises
Chair yoga for seniors

Chair yoga is ideal for senior citizens who can no longer do the exercises on a floor mat or have problems standing for a long duration. As the name suggests, this yoga allows you to do poses while seated on a chair.

You can also use the chair as support when the poses require you to stand up for a brief period. Your trainer will modify the movements and use other props, such as walls, to offer more support depending on the yoga poses.

How Senior Citizens Should Prepare for Yoga

Whether you intend to follow what you’ve seen after searching yoga for seniors – YouTube or enroll in a class, you have to prepare yourself for the exercises before you begin.

Here are the best preparation techniques in yoga for elderly beginners:

1.   Prepare your gears

You have to wear comfortable clothes. Make sure that they won’t get in the way of the movements.

Yoga is typically done barefoot, so you don’t need special footwear. But you can wear non-slip socks if you find going barefooted inconvenient.

You also need to have a yoga mat. If you practice in a studio, they can provide you with a yoga mat at no charge. But it’s okay to bring your own.

2.   Make sure you are physically okay

Tell your doctor about your intention to do yoga if you have certain medical issues. Once allowed, you must be open with your instructor about your pains and general health.

This way, they will find it easier to tweak the poses and movements in ways that will be safe and easier to accomplish.

3.   Start slow

Never force yourself to perform the movements like how they are typically done, especially when you are only a beginner. If a yoga pose requires you to reach your toes, but your hands can only get up to your knees, don’t push farther.

Flexibility will come with continued practice. It is best to practice safety all the time by doing the movements according to what feels comfortable and right.

Final Words

Yoga for seniors promotes healthy aging. It’s a mind and body practice that will allow you to improve your flexibility and make you stronger even at an old age.

You must engage in physical activities as you grow older. This will hamper the decline of your health while improving the strength of your bones and muscles. If you want to begin practicing yoga, search for “best yoga class for seniors near me” and look for a trainer who can provide what you need and can encourage you to make yoga a habit.

shelleywhitem@gmail.com'

Shelley

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