Yoga For Older People: How to Do It (And Why It’s So Good For You)

We here at Clarendon Live-In Care firmly believe it’s never too late to start getting the benefits of exercise. Yoga for seniors is a great way to help enhance physical strength and general wellbeing. The breathing, meditation and stretching techniques learned in yoga can in particular provide many benefits for older ladies and gentlemen. It can also help improve flexibility, balance, general mobility as well as helping lower stress levels and improve sleep.

This article sets out the many benefits of yoga for older people and outlines a number of types of yoga for older men and women (including chair yoga which is growing ever more popular). It also provides some details about entry-level yoga positions and discusses what everyone should do before starting out with any yoga routine.

The Benefits of Yoga for Older Adults

Yoga cultivates a mind-body connection, combining stretching and strengthening postures with deep breathing and relaxation. Because the poses (or asanas) can easily be adapted to suit an individual’s needs, yoga is safe for older people of all fitness or ability levels. It can be an excellent way to keep the body strong and healthy without the joint stress that comes from other activities like weightlifting or jogging. And it’s never too late to begin: You can start yoga at any age. (Just be sure to clear it with your doctor before you begin.)

Here are some of the benefits of yoga for older men and women:

  • Better balance: Many yoga poses for older people focus on strengthening the abdominal muscles and improving your core stability. That can help you become steadier on your feet and reduce your risk of falls.
  • Improved flexibility: Yoga movements can be fantastic stretching exercises for older ladies and gentlemen. Holding a pose for several breaths encourages your muscles and connective tissues to relax and loosen, which helps to increase your range of motion. In fact, research in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy has shown that regularly engaging in yoga can dramatically boost the overall flexibility of older adults.
  • Enhanced breathing: The breathing control practices of yoga (known as pranayama) can expand your lung capacity and improve your pulmonary health. A recent study found that elderly women who practiced yoga three times a week for 12 weeks saw a significant improvement in their respiratory function.
  • Stronger bones: If you’re worried about brittle bones and osteoporosis, try yoga. For older women and men, a consistent yoga routine that includes weight-bearing postures can help bolster bone strength. Some promising research has suggested that doing yoga can actually improve bone density in postmenopausal women.
  • Reduced anxiety and stress: Through meditation and mindful breathing, yoga encourages you to focus on the present and find a sense of peace. Research has demonstrated that that can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression. In a National Institutes of Health survey, more than 85 percent of people who engaged in yoga said they experienced reduced stress as a result.
  • Better sleep: Yoga can help alleviate sleep disturbances, which are common complaints among our clients. In a 2021 study, adults over age 60 who struggled with insomnia participated in yoga classes twice a week and underwent daily sessions at home. After three months, the group reported significant improvements in both the duration and overall quality of their sleep.

Many of our live-in carers are knowledgeable in personal fitness for older people and can offer a wealth or knowledge and advice. Please get in touch with out office team to arrange live-in care for you or your loved one.

September 21, 2022

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