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Yoga originated in India around 6 B.C. It is a body, mind, and spiritual practice blending breathing exercise and physical poses to achieve peacefulness of both mind and body, and helps participants manage anxiety and stress as well as relax.
Many people believe that Yoga is an activity for young and flexible people. However, the benefits it offers make it an exceptional form of exercise for seniors too. In combination with a healthy diet, yoga helps you remain mentally and physically sound for many years to come.
Yoga classes for seniors are generally safe for most healthy seniors, but only when under the guidance of a trained instructor. Seniors should ensure that they talk to their healthcare providers before beginning yoga for seniors classes if they have any of the following:
Even with such conditions, it is still possible for seniors to do yoga if they take necessary precautions, such as avoiding some stretches and poses. The best thing for seniors is to seek the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner before signing up for Yoga classes regardless of fitness level.
If you are a senior and would like to try a new exercise routine for maintaining a strong, active lifestyle, try out Yoga and enjoy the following amazing benefits for your body, mind, and spirit.
Stability and balance are they key areas of focus for most Yoga poses. Stability and balance are both very important as you age. Improving your balance and strengthening your muscles prevents the likelihood of falls, which is a real and common concern for seniors. Yoga helps to prevent falls but an increase in stability and strength also helps seniors recover quickly if falls do occur.
If you would like a gentle exercises that promotes flexibility, Yoga is an excellent option. Flexibility exercises such as what Yoga offers are amazing particularly if you joints are stiff or achy. A study that examined the effectiveness of Yoga in managing osteoarthritis in elderly women revealed that it indeed provided therapeutic benefits. The low-impact moves in Yoga not only loosen muscles but also can tone supporting muscles and prevent injury.
Age brings with it respiratory limitations and a reduced tolerance to physical exhaustion. Any activity or event that reduces oxygen levels in the respiratory system can have adverse effects on the body and mind. According to some recent studies, a 3-month Yoga program can improve respiratory function in elderly women significantly.
Breathing is the foundation to all forms of life. Human beings can go without food for weeks but no human being can survive for more than a few minutes without breathing. So, it is always a good idea to keep the respiratory system in good shape regardless of your age.
High blood pressure or hypertension can cause cardiovascular disease and is the second highest cause of kidney disease. According to recent studies, Yoga can reduce oxidative stress in seniors. Oxidative stress is one of the causes of high blood pressure and is a major risk factor for heart attacks particularly among seniors.
Yoga for seniors can be both restorative and calm, relaxing the mind and body – particularly those geared towards seniors. If you practice Yoga regularly, it can reduce the flight-or-fight response in your sympathetic nervous system, which causes all kinds of inflammation and can wreak havoc on the body and mind.
Yoga requires focusing on slow movements and breath, which helps trigger the parasympathetic nervous system thus reducing the feelings of stress and byproducts of stress.
Yoga focuses a lot on listening to your body and breathing and one additional benefit of this is the expanded awareness of the self through its practice. The more you practice Yoga, the more you become mindful of your body emotions, and thoughts, which is always good for the spirit. You will also become more mindful and connected to your community, environment, and the world that surrounds you.
Yoga for senior citizens clearly offer many benefits as shown in this article. If you are a senior adult in good health and would like to try out Yoga, check for any Yoga studios in your area. If you live in a retirement community, consult your facility’s fitness center to find out whether they offer classes.
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