There’s this idea out there that yoga is for the elite class and the very young and already fit. Nonsense. Yoga has been around for thousands of years, starting in India and only making its way to the West in the past century.
Thinking that yoga is only for a certain group of people keeps many others from discovering this refreshing and healthy form of gentle exercise. The reality is that nearly everyone, no matter where they are at in life’s journey, will benefit from regular yoga practice. Seniors and their caretakers should consider how this gentle exercise can improve a senior’s health in both mind and body.
A good place to begin for seniors is restorative yoga, as its therapeutic and slow paced. Yoga props, straps and blocks provide support and give seniors an assist with this fluid and flexible form of exercise.
An expert teacher will tailor the class to the participants’ abilities and fitness levels. For example, individuals with certain conditions such as high blood pressure should avoid some yoga positions or use modifications to make them safer for seniors.
Restorative yoga is especially useful for mild back pain and easing anxiety. Restorative positions are safe and can be used by those suffering from many health conditions. From multiple sclerosis to digestive problems and even for those with insomnia, yoga offers seniors a gentle way to better health.
Yogic practice is just as much concerned with the mind as the body. The yoga instructor will lead your loved one into a state of deep relaxation. Yoga may also counteract the effects of age on sleeping cycles. Do keep in mind that seniors who feel confident in their physical health may prefer to practice a more intense form of yoga. And regardless of age or ability, be sure to inform the teacher of any injuries or limitations. It’s also not a bad idea to consult a physician before beginning a yoga exercise program.