10 Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
As you age, your skin, fascia, tendons, ligaments, and muscles lose their elasticity. We lose flexibility. If stretching is not part of your exercise routine, you might feel stiff, and inflammation and pain may be the result. Have you ever practiced yoga? It is an easy and safe solution to stiffness. Indeed, with age, unfortunately, you also lose speed, agility, balance, flexibility, muscle mass, strength, and endurance. I always say that everyone should practice Yoga and Pilates. Pilates is so good to work on core strength, pelvic floor, and reduce back pain. Yoga has many benefits. It helps to slow down the aging process of your mind and body. There are so many more benefits of practicing yoga regularly. Here are some of them:
- Yoga helps maintain the space between your discs of your spine and sustains your height.
As you age, you usually shrink with time. By practicing yoga, you will slow down this aging process by helping to keep your muscles and joints flexible at your spine.
- Get stronger and avoid the onset of osteoporosis.
Yoga is such a gentle way to work out your entire body and avoid injuries. To practice yoga, you use body weight strength which is perfect to gain muscle mass and protect your bones in case of a fall.
- Look 10 years younger.
People who practice yoga usually look younger. Every time you bring your head down to practice different asanas, you bring blood flow to your head and it helps with wrinkles! Gravity is your worst enemy by bringing everything down towards the earth!!
Indeed, if you go onto the floor like a kid, you will feel younger. I always encourage my clients to get down on the floor. I teach them how to get down and up safely and we often practice it together. The day they fall, they appreciate having that knowledge to get back up on their feet.
- Lose weight or stay slim.
People practicing yoga are usually more careful about what they put in their mouth, they listen better to their body and can feel when they had enough to eat.
- Improve balance.
Balance should be practiced every day. to avoid falls as you age. Yoga is one of the perfect activities to work at it. After all, balance is important to all our daily activities from making a bed to walking to the store.
- Improve flexibility and joint health.
That’s another beauty of yoga. To gain flexibility, asanas have to be held for at least 30 seconds. To gain flexibility, yoga positions should be held longer: 1 to 5 minutes. To help with your practice, use cushions and blocks for support, release the pose if needed, and go back to it.
Yoga is also very effective to relieve inflammation flair ups caused by osteoarthritis.
Get access to my Yoga videos here.
Get access to my Chair Yoga videos here.
- Reduce stress, anxiety, lower blood pressure, glucose in blood stream, and heart rate.
When people add yoga to their exercise routine, many find that with the exercise their medical conditions improve and that their physicians may reduce their medications. I always say: “Exercise is your best medicine.”
- Breathe deeper.
With my all my years of practice with clients, I realize that many only breathe from the upper portion of their lungs. What happen is their diaphragm gets “paralyzed” because it is not used properly. The abdominal breathe should always start from the stomach: inhale to push your tummy out (the diaphragm moves down) and exhale to bring your belly button towards the spine (the diaphragm moves up).
- Sleep better.
Physical activity helps to improve sleep patterns. When you exercise, you feel tired, which is a good way to be tired! If you are retired, you can have a cat nap! However, if you are still working, you want to test if you can sleep better. You can do this with a simple graph. Every morning when you wake up, ask yourself, “How was my sleep on a scale of 0-5 (0 is very poor and 5 is excellent).” Then, write down how many hours of sleep you got. After a week, look back at your numbers and notice if there is an improvement. I have tested this with one of my oldest clients (88 years old) and yes, his sleep was better after he began yoga.
- Improve posture.
When I teach yoga, I often focus at stretching tight muscles to improve posture. The chest and front of the shoulder muscles are ones that need the most focus. You need to open and stretch the chest to be able to breathe deeper. Indeed, I often suggest lower back, hips, and back of the legs stretches.
My body loves yoga and I feel much better after a practice. Yoga helps my lower back. Yoga is always good to reduce aches and pains. If you want to give yoga a try and you are too intimidated to join a class, you can book a one-on-one yoga practice. If you really don’t want to go on the floor, you can practice Chair Yoga. If you are comfortable joining classes, look at my calendar to join us.
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