Yoga is about more than just bending your body into challenging postures. It’s a holistic practice that nourishes both body and mind. While anyone of any age can benefit from routine yoga practice, seniors will find that yoga can help them immeasurably. Seniors are more at risk of physical injuries, and yoga can counteract some of the most common ailments when practiced regularly.
If you’re wondering just how beneficial yoga can be for an older population, here’s what you should know:
As people age, one of the biggest concerns for medical professionals is how their patients will be able to get around. Yoga can help with mobility because it allows seniors to focus on their posture, balance, and flexibility. All of the controlled movements through the asanas (poses) result in better balance. As a result of that improved sense of balance, many seniors have fewer falls and can get around their community with greater ease and less assistance.
While it may sometimes be slow-moving, that doesn’t mean that yoga doesn’t strengthen the body. It works every part of the body, starting with core strength and working its way outward. While some seniors find themselves becoming more sedentary with age which results in losing muscle mass, yoga provides a routine practice that enables them to keep muscles active and growing.
Not only does it create greater strength in the muscles, but yoga also strengthens the bones. As a direct result of yoga practice, osteoporosis tends to be lower in this population. Their bones tend to be less brittle when they’re exercised daily. Most people find that bone density diminishes as they age, but yoga can help.
Any type of exercise can contribute to a more restful sleep at night, but yoga is particularly potent when it comes to this area. While it may be practiced in the morning to invigorate the day, some nighttime routines can be more relaxing. Moving through a few gentle poses in the minutes leading up to bedtime can soothe the mind and body. As a result, seniors tend to sleep longer with fewer instances of waking up in the middle of the night.
Seniors often struggle with mood fluctuations as they grow older and sometimes become more socially isolated due to a lack of mobility. Yoga is a natural way to enhance mood, lessening the risk of developing depression. Like all forms of exercise, yoga boosts the body’s production of key endorphins that impact mood.
If seniors attend a regular class in their community, the result is doubly effective. It allows them to connect with other people who share their interests and hobbies. As a result, they tend to feel less isolated, decreasing their risk of developing depression. Even if they’re unable to attend a class, yoga is an important component of at-home care for seniors.
Many seniors know that eliminating aches and pains can be helped by some activities, like enjoying the benefits of hot tubs. Yoga is an equally powerful way to feel healthier and move more comfortably. It promotes flexibility and mobility, strengthening the body in all types of ways that allow seniors to be more comfortable throughout the day.
Another benefit when it comes to eliminating these daily aches is the ability to manage pain. No matter what type of yoga is practiced, one of the core tenets is breathwork. Seniors will learn to breathe through pain and discomfort, allowing them a greater sense of ease even for ailments that regular workouts wouldn’t ordinarily help.
Even the senior population finds that stress relief is a necessary part of life. Yoga is perfect for a relaxing afternoon, and it can help rid the body of tension. As seniors start to relax into the poses and incorporate yoga into their daily routine, they’ll likely find that any high blood pressure drops as well. Anxiety levels, heart rate, and lower blood pressure all coalesce to create significant benefits with routine yoga practices.
Incorporate Yoga for Senior Care
Seniors can benefit from regular yoga practices in both body and mind, keeping the body younger for longer. Yoga practices are a great tool to decrease the risk of falls, increase strength and flexibility, and keep seniors mobile for as long as possible. How can you incorporate yoga into your senior care today?