Yoga may just be the best exercise for seniors. Yoga is a practice of body, mind, and spirit, coordinated through breathing techniques and ‘poses’. Some types of yoga are more rigorous, while others are more meditative. While some classes are more suitable than others, yoga is incredibly accessible to senior adults and even people with mobility issues, although you should always speak to your GP before beginning your practice.
Why Yoga is Great for Seniors
- Improved Mobility – Yoga focuses on improving range of motion, lengthening muscle tissues, and strengthening core, stabilisers, and major muscle groups. In other words, yoga makes you limber.
- Better Balance – Did you know that falls are the biggest cause of hospitalisation for senior adults? Yoga cultivates better balance, and is a key exercise to reducing risk of falls.
- Joint Health – Recent studies have shown that yogis with osteoporosis or arthritis find therapeutic benefits to yoga, and long-term yogis have a decreased chance of developing joint pain in later life. This just goes to show that joint problems are not a barrier to yoga, unlike many other exercises and sports that are high-impact.
- Breathe Easier – When we think of yoga we don’t think of it as a cardiovascular exercise, but in fact, it is an excellent workout for respiratory health, especially in older adults.
- Stress Relief – Yoga, by combining physical movement alongside mindfulness, is a proven method to reduce stress and anxiety. Just one hour on the mat is calming and restorative.
- Encourages Mindfulness – There couldn’t be an easier way to access ‘mindfulness’ than a guided yoga practice. Through breathing techniques that work alongside the poses, even beginners can unlock mind-body connection and explore mindfulness in their yoga practice.
Get started: There are yoga studios all over our island, and community centres and gyms offering classes as well. Speak to your doctor about what type of class would be appropriate, and then simply join a class! It couldn’t be easier… Namaste.