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Benefits of Yoga For Older Adults

The importance of daily exercise has been drummed into us to help maintain optimal health and wellness. We feel more energized and have fewer aches and pains, allowing us to be more independent, safer, and stronger when we exercise. Yoga has been noted as the best form of exercise for seniors. It improves balance, flexibility and enhances our mood!


Chair Yoga


Yoga can be easily modified to suit your individual needs. Yoga is safe for any senior, whether on a mat or in a chair. Chair yoga is a great way to keep your mind and body healthy and strong without stressing your joints like jogging or weight training does. You are never too old to start Yoga but check with your physician before doing any exercise.

Restorative Yoga


Restorative Yoga is a meditative, slow type of Yoga that passively releases tension without stretching. Items such as chairs are used to support your body, and you will typically learn how to hold certain poses for five minutes or more. Seniors who want to cultivate contentment and relaxation will enormously benefit from restorative Yoga.

Benefits of Yoga for Seniors


Retirement is a great time to pick up some healthier routines you may not have had time for during your working years. Yoga is one of those exercise routines you shouldn’t knock until you try it.
  1. It strengthens your bones which can help lower your risk of developing osteoporosis. As we age, our bone density and mass decrease.

  2. Stress management. Yoga helps you relax and release the tension built up in your body, especially in your upper back and shoulders. Yoga helps reduce anxiety, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, and aids in breathing easier, resulting in fewer medications.

  3. It helps you to get a better night’s sleep.

  4. The slow, calculated movements that come with Yoga lead to better movement and balance, lowering your fall risk. Falls are the leading cause of injury in older adults.

  5. Enhances mood. Combining meditation, movement, and deep breathing helps create an overall sense of wellbeing.

  6. Improves social isolation. Yoga is usually done in groups. It is a fantastic time to socialize with peers.

  7. Alleviates pain, even if you have age-related limitations such as arthritis. It teaches you how to cope with chronic pain through proper breathing, stretching, and relaxation.

Before you start Yoga, make sure you do your homework. Many senior programs offer Yoga, and these instructors will be knowledgeable in the techniques best suited for you.


Mental Health Benefits of Yoga


Besides the plethora of physical benefits yoga provides, there are also many mental health benefits! Stress causes devastating effects on your mind and your body. Stress can manifest as headaches, lack of concentration, neck, and backaches, and insomnia. Yoga can help you develop practical coping skills and bring you a more positive outlook on life.

Yoga uses breathing and meditation to enhance your mental wellness. If practiced regularly, your degree of mental calmness and clarity is improved. You will become more attuned with your body, therefore helping you detect any physical problems you may have earlier. That way, you can practice early prevention.

Yoga is a mental practice that shows you how to get through psychological and emotional challenges. There is always wisdom, inspiration, and guidance deep within us, but worries can often distract us. Yoga is about clearing and calming your mind. It leads to a greater sense of love, hope, and wellbeing.

Meditational yoga helps you be present and focused, lending itself to a great spiritual exercise. If you commit yourself to practicing yoga, it will teach you how to be mentally aware of the present and show you the precise reasons behind any decisions you need to make. You will become increasingly familiar with your higher self and aware of the spiritual energy within you.

Yoga boosts your confidence. If you have low self-esteem in light of the limitations of aging, yoga can help you get to know yourself and experience inner peace. You spend your time on self-improvement with yoga, not competing with others. Yoga is about encouraging you to follow your destiny, move at your own pace, and gain confidence.

Yoga teaches you how to connect to your body and breathe through situations. This focus inward helps you slow down and create a sanctuary in your mind where you can go and find peace. It is a practice in relaxation and concentration.

Yoga is more than a physical exercise; it changes your lifestyle, outlook on life, and self-awareness. Yoga teachers and students alike usually end classes with "Namaste," which if translated precisely means "the divine in me bows to the divine in you." It is a gratitude practice for the universe, which we all need to practice daily.

Online videos
On YouTube, "yoga for seniors" videos are widely available. Here are a few videos you may find helpful:
Slow and Gentle Yoga With Adriene: A 28-minute sequence of gentle sitting and standing postures
7-Minute Yoga Workout for Older Adults: A short, basic standing routine that uses a combination of seven different poses
Daily Stretches for Seniors: Simple Yoga Exercises: A 10-minute series of stretch exercises for seniors that can help alleviate pain and improve flexibility