Because yoga is such an individualized activity and can be adapted for all ages and abilities, it is the perfect exercise to keep senior citizens moving.
Yoga for seniors is the newest rage sweeping the country because it offers the following benefits:
- Preventing joints from becoming stiff and inflexible
- Increasing circulation of the blood to all of the vital areas of the body
- Relieving stress
- Controlling weight gain and blood pressure
- Improving cognitive functioning
Chair Yoga for Seniors
Yoga for seniors can be specially tailored for unique situations. For example, seniors who are wheel chair bound can perform simple stretches in a seated posture.
These poses allow even those with disabilities or older adults who are recovering from serious medical issues to enjoy the yoga experience:
- The side stretch whittles the waistline, improves breathing, and keeps the spine supple.
- The knee squeeze aids digestion and keeps the lower back loose.
- The forward bend is great for the neck and upper back.
- The sun pose helps the internal organs work more efficiently and increases blood flow.
- The spinal twist keeps the spine moving freely and is great for the circulation.
Doing Yoga on the Bed
Yoga for seniors can also be done by those who are bedfast. Although it may take some imagination, most basic yoga poses that are ordinarily done on a mat can be done from a bed.
The head to knee pose is an easy pose for yoga beginners and is a stretch that can be adjusted for comfort. The spinal twist also works well for those who have difficulty getting out of bed and can be instrumental in releasing the stress which the body accumulates from this limitation. The child pose can also relieve some of the pressure points and ease pain.
Seniors Yoga Classes in Local Community Centers
Of course, many seniors are able to attend yoga for seniors at their local gyms or community centers. This gives them both the benefits of this wonderful exercise opportunity along with the social interaction of their peers. Yoga for seniors can then give added psychological benefits and prevent depression from developing.
For those men and women who have difficulty traveling to one of these yoga for seniors classes, DVD’s are available in which certified instructors give clear instruction and lead the viewers through the basic yoga poses. If money is a problem, many local libraries have videos available for seniors to borrow. With a little practice, seniors will soon be able to go through the poses without additional help.
Senior yoga is appropriate for almost everyone, but it is wise to consult a physician before beginning even mild stretching programs to ensure that these movements are not going to acerbate other ongoing health problems.