Yoga is the journey of the Self, through the Self, to the Self – The Bhagwat Gita.
Staying healthy and feeling your best is important at any age and that doesn’t change just because you have a few more grey hair.
Yoga can be one of the best ways to stay healthy and active. Undoubtedly yoga has innumerable health benefits for people over age of 60, from healthy bones to flexibility to anxiety relief.
Here are 6 benefits of yoga:
1) Benefit of movement – without the strain
Exercise is one of the essential elements of healthy ageing. But one has to take care that the exercise is not too strenuous for seniors. Yoga can be one of the best low-impact exercise options that is easier on the body as compared to other rigorous activities like running or weight-lifting.
2) Reduce anxiety
As seniors grow older they experience major life changes, including retirement, children leaving home, loss of loved ones and of course physical changes, leading to anxiety and stress. Yoga has a relaxation impact on the entire body and help reduce the impact of stress.
3) Boost Mood
Yoga’s combination of breathing, meditation and movement creates an overall sense of well-being. In fact, studies show yoga has a greater impact on enhancing mood and reducing anxiety than other forms of exercise. The reason being yoga boosts levels of the brain chemical GABA, which helps calm nerves.
4) Build strength and balance
Practicing postures that emphasize standing and balance can help build strength and confidence, too. As the elderly gets more sedentary, their sense of balance atrophies. The principle of ‘use it or lose it’ really does apply.
5) Sharpens your mind
Breathing exercises such as alternate-nostril breathing help harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of the personality.
6) Promotes good health
Practice of regular yoga exercise shows improvement in chronic illness including arthritis, helps in weight management and diabetes management. Also researchers of India found that people who have mild to moderately high blood pressure were able to reverse it by practicing yoga.
Here are the 6 Yoga practices for seniors:
1) Tree Pose
2) Warrior Pose I
Any standing pose helps to improve bone density.
3) Warrior Pose-II
4) Half chair at the wall
5) Upward facing dog
6) Relaxing Pose
One may think it is difficult to start practicing yoga at an older age, but the truth is a gentle practice for beginners can be a safe and excellent way to stay active and lower stress levels. Ninety-four-year-old yogi Tao Porchon-Lynch swears by yoga as a way to maintain a positive attitude, relieve stress and age gracefully.