Stay Healthy & Fit in your Golden Years
Most elderly people will think that yoga is only suitable for young people or people with good flexibility. But in fact, yoga is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. The latest research shows that yoga is especially helpful for people over the age of 60, improving their flexibility and balance.
If you are new to yoga, it is not easy at first. But this should not prevent you from participating in yoga practice, because of the many benefits of yoga:
8 benefits of yoga for the elderly
01 Dredge the meridians and strengthen the viscera
Through breathing, stretching and asanas, the meridians of the human body can be dredged and the functions of the internal organs can be strengthened. Restore energy and spirit to achieve all-round health preservation and health care.
02 Relieve muscle stress
As we age, muscle mass deteriorates. The beauty of yoga is that even an ordinary hatha yoga practice can relieve the practitioner’s muscle stress and enhance muscle toughness. Downward Dog Pose, Plank Pose, Warrior 1 Pose, and Warrior 2 Pose are all poses that are especially suitable for yoga beginners, and they are very effective in improving the strength of practitioners.
03 Enhance flexibility
With the passage of time and the reduction of activities, the muscles of the elderly lose some elasticity, and even some elderly people have difficulty bending over and kneeling to tie shoelaces in daily life.
For these elderly people with poor flexibility, it is recommended to try to sit and bend forward. For those who find it difficult, they can stretch their shoulders and hamstrings with the help of yoga straps; cat pose or wheel pose can also flex the spine; sprint pose can open hip flexion muscles; side bend mountain pose can stretch the muscles along the trunk.
04 Pain relief
Studies have shown that yoga is effective in treating certain types of chronic pain, including pain and stiffness from arthritis and repetitive stress syndrome. Much gentler than some weight-bearing exercises that put undue stress on joints, yoga helps reduce muscle tension throughout the body.
Both Cobra Pose and Baby’s Pose can help relieve pain; Bound Angle Pose can help with hip pain. Standing forward bends help increase spinal flexibility and reduce lumbar pain in a targeted manner.
05 Improve balance ability
Loss of balance is common in people over 65 years of age. It is from this that the elderly are prone to falling. As we all know, the physical function of the elderly declines, and a fall may be life-threatening. Practicing balancing poses in yoga can help older adults strengthen their bones and keep their bodies stable while walking and standing.
Depending on individual circumstances, yoga tree pose, side plank pose, and half moon pose can all better help the elderly improve their balance. For those who want to challenge their balance on one leg, leaning on a wall or a prop is a great way to do it.
06 Strong Bones
Osteoporosis is one of the biggest health problems of the elderly. Studies have found that yoga can improve bone density in patients with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Yoga uses opposing muscle groups and gravity to stress the bones to promote the production of bone-growing cells. Yoga triangle pose, warrior 1 pose, warrior 2 pose and plank pose can all highlight the antagonistic muscle groups.
07 Improve concentration and focus
As we age, the brain changes with it. This means that concentration and memory will decline in most older adults. Yoga like pranayama and meditation stimulate the brain and nervous system, improving concentration and memory.
Pranayama, through focused breathing, keeps the mind clear and relaxes the nerves. Meditation can also help you maintain peace of mind. As the meditation time increases, it will help practitioners get rid of their predicament and gain inner peace.
08 Increase positive emotions
Some elderly people feel lonely. Joining yoga classes can broaden the social circle of the elderly and make more friends. In addition, yoga is a recognized “mood booster”. Opening yoga poses and back bending poses like cobra pose, boat pose, and bridge pose have been shown to increase positive emotions in patients with depression. Practicing yoga asanas, pranayama, and meditation can all help improve your mood, bring more positive energy, and reduce anxiety.
The full range of healing and transformative power of yoga is applicable to all ages.