Why Yoga Is Great For Seniors

In today’s multicultural world, Yoga is most commonly associated with a list of frequently used exercise modalities, comparable to resistance training, pilates, or stretching. The truth is, however, that Yoga is an ancient, complex practice with roots in Indian philosophy and dates back thousands of years. People used Yoga practices as a way of training the body and mind to become aware of their own nature. Yet, what was recognized as a spiritual practice centuries ago, by now has evolved into a popular method of promoting physical and mental well-being in today’s modern era, as well.

The term “Yoga” is an umbrella term that includes various styles and practices. A general reference to “yoga” would refer to the Hatha variety. Hatha is considered a gentle yoga that emphasizes static poses and is great starting point for those who are unfamiliar. It typically includes 3 components:

1. Pranayama or breathing exercises, are generally the first part of hatha yoga classes. As you move through the poses, the instructor will continue to remind you to focus on your breath and may offer different breathing exercises to try.

2. Poses: Yoga poses, also called postures or asanas, are a series of movements that help improve balance, flexibility, and strength. Poses range in difficulty from laying flat on the floor to physically challenging positions. If at any time during a class, a pose is too challenging, the instructor can provide a modified posture.

3. Meditation: Most classes end with a short period of meditation. During this period of quiet reflection, the instructor may take the class through a guided meditation.

Yoga offers various benefits at a low-risk capacity, and has therefore become increasingly favored among seniors. Caregivers can explore various methods of yoga and help by integrating basic poses into their routines with the adults they care for. Some Yoga positions, such as those included in gentle Yoga, are quite simple, and can be done with just the support of a chair. However, it is always crucial to exercise caution when starting a fitness program and consult directly with a doctor or physical therapist to ensure that their patient is at the appropriate fitness level for the new exercise plan.

With approval from a medical authority and/or therapist, go ahead and see why assorted Yoga practices are a great way for older adults to maintain their physical health and improve overall wellness. Here we highlighted some:

Better Balance

Older adults are at a higher risk of broken or fractured bones caused by them losing their balance and falling. Iyengar Yoga is methodical and precise, with a strong emphasis on maintaining good posture and finding proper form. Using props like bolsters, straps, blocks, and incline boards, participants are able to get into correct alignment and practice improved balance. For seniors with arthritis or other chronic conditions, Yoga helps fortify tiny stabilizer muscles that are typically unnoticed, yet once strengthened, can drastically lower the risk of injury caused by a dangerous fall.

Stronger Core

As a rule, muscle mass generally declines with age, starting when some hit their 40s, and picking up speed after age 50. This gradual change can leave older adults feeling increasingly weaker with time and, if nothing is done, cause them to feel that they are slowly losing control and independence in their lives. Yet, while declining muscle mass is an inevitable part of getting older, there are things adults can do to prevent or reverse muscle loss, as the old saying goes, ‘you have to use it or lose it’. With Yoga, transitioning into different positions challenges muscles to support the weight of the body and strengthens the muscle fibers in the process. Yoga builds strength in the muscles you don’t use in everyday living, while toning the ones that you do.

Super Stretching

Chronic back pain is extremely common, inconvenient, and can be debilitating for many seniors. A regular Yoga practice stretches and moves the body to include spine movement in all directions, such as laterally, forward and twisting from side to side. Therefore, as little as a 10-minute daily Yoga exercise may boost a senior’s flexibility, resulting in increased mobility and comfort. For those with a history of aggravating back ailments, Yoga helps to keep their spines healthy and avoid further damage.

Less Stress

By merging meditation and mindful breathing, Yoga exercises encourage one to focus on the present moment and arrive at a sense of inner peace. Research has demonstrated that Yoga can also lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. It can also decrease inflammation throughout the body, which can significantly improve heart health. Yoga can help alleviate several of the conditions that are associated with heart disease, including high blood pressure and obesity.

While noting the relaxation effect that Yoga can have on its participants, it is also worth exploring Restorative Yoga, a meditative form of Yoga that is designed to release tension without stretching. In this style of Yoga, props are used to support the body, and poses are held for several minutes to maximize relaxation. It’s not uncommon for people to fall asleep while in a restorative Yoga class. Similarly, many seniors find that incorporating a nightly Yoga routine into their schedules helps relax their minds after the events of the day and prepare their bodies to fall and stay asleep.

Considering the various health benefits Yoga offers, there are several ways caregivers can help get started:

Yoga classes: Ask around in the community for Yoga classes in the area. Some local options may also offer free or discounted classes for seniors. It is worth noting that joining a group Yoga session also offers older adults the benefits of a productive social outlet. Consistently doing exercise in a group setting can help foster positive relationships and decrease the loneliness that many seniors experience as they age.

Yoga at home: In an area or circumstance where in-person classes are not available or attractive, search online for yoga videos available for individual use. Here are a few yoga videos for seniors to begin with:

Gentle Chair Yoga for Beginners and Seniors: ideal for those with limited mobility or those recovering from an injury.

30-Minute Restorative Yoga and Meditation: a slow-paced class suitable for seniors, focusing on the mental and meditative benefits of yoga

Full Length Gentle Yoga Class for Beginners and Seniors: a slow-paced, 30-minute yoga flow, featuring a number of seated and standing poses. Includes modifications for beginners.

We’ve addressed some helpful points that can encourage seniors and their caregivers to explore incorporating Yoga as a new health practice. With numerous physical and emotional benefits, many have found it to be a great outlet and healthy lifestyle choice, however, be sure to consult with a physician before adopting any new exercise regimen.

Feel free to further explore our website, where you can find additional caregiver resources and a variety of timely topics such as medical assistance, personal care, and senior companionship.

Reach out to us today to learn more about our team of caring and experienced personal caregivers, registered nurses, and home health aides who expertly serve families just like yours. We’re here for you and happy to assist your family. Give us a call at (845) 425-6555 with any questions.

Related Health Tips

Be Kind to Humankind Week: Seven Daily Tips to Make the World a Better Place

Be Kind to Humankind Week (BKHK) is a global celebration that takes place from August 25th-31st every weekend and strives to promote kindness, happiness and cohesion between people from all walks of life.Each day of the seven-day celebration carries a specific goal....

10 Lifestyle Factors That Improve Brain Health

Nowadays, Americans are living longer than they were just a few generations ago. Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, people are staying healthy, active, and vibrant members of their community for much longer. However, aging also comes with certain pitfalls...

How to Have a Healthy Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, everyone is busy coming up with a menu for the big feast. Thanksgiving is famous for being all about overindulgence and eating, but it can be a stressful experience for those who need to be careful about what they eat, such as...

The Ten Biggest Fears of Senior Living, Resolved

If you believed everything that society told us about senior living, you’d think that senior living is a place the elderly go when they have no more options and can no longer care for themselves. How dismal! Fortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Many...

Debunking 20 Myths About Aging Everyone Believes

“Seniors are unable to try new things.” “As you age, your memory goes out the door.” “All seniors are lonely and depressed.”We’ve all heard them: aging myths. While they’re rampant in our culture, researchers have been waging a quiet war to take them down and provide...

20 Signs Your Parent Might Need Home Care

For most people, knowing when it’s time to think about hiring home care for an aging parent is a painful thought. In most cases, our parents age slowly, going from the joyful, attentive caregivers we’ve enjoyed all our lives to distracted, forgetful people we don’t...

10 Volunteer Opportunities Guaranteed to Increase Your Happiness This Holiday Season

Bring joy and hapiness to yourself and those less fortunate by volunteering this holiday seasonThe holidays are a time of giving, and most people find that they feel better about themselves and the world around them when they volunteer to help at local, national, or...

Why Seniors Should Avoid Eating These 10 “Healthy” Foods

Healthy eating is an important part of maintaining optimal health and ensuring an active lifestyle throughout the years, but did you know that there are many “healthy” foods seniors shouldn’t be eating?Many of these foods are off-limits due to their high bacteria...

Prevent High Blood Pressure Using these 5 Daily Practices

Right now, about 75 million Americans – roughly 29% of the adult population – have high blood pressure. Left untreated, high blood pressure is a dangerous condition that can lead to heart attacks, arrhythmias, and more. Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent...

National Simplify Your Life Week: Seven Tips to Help You Simplify, Cut Stress, Make Better Decisions and Be Happier

We all know the feeling. You wake up to a to-do list that feels about five miles long. You’ve got fifteen minutes until you need to be out the door and on your way to work but you can’t find your car keys because they’re buried under a pile of last week’s junk mail....



Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


+1 803-574-3069


717 Encino Pl NE.
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Store Hours

M-F: 8am – 11:30pm
S-S: 9am – 9:30pm

error: Alert: Content is protected !!