Why are more people becoming absorbed in perfecting their downward dogs and warrior poses? Why has yoga become such a popular form of exercise across a variety of audiences all over the world? It seems that the breathing exercises and poses that the discipline teaches have a variety of benefits that can improve the overall wellness of people of all ages.
Benefits of Yoga for Senior Citizens
When you hit your golden years, joint pain, fatigue, loss of muscle strength, and limited mobility are just some of the health issues you could face. Studies show that yoga helps in fighting stress, strengthening muscles, building flexibility, improving blood circulation, aiding in digestion, and decreasing blood pressure, among other things. And, it is a form of exercise that can be modified according to the fitness and health needs of a person, making it perfect for older individuals who may require gentler and less vigorous exercises.
Poses to Try
Standing poses help in improving bone density and building strength in your lower body to maintain your balance, which is vital when you become more prone to slips, falls, and fractures as you age. Warrior poses will stretch and build power in your groins, legs, inner thighs, and hips.
Legs Up the Wall
This is great for recirculating blood back to the heart as you end up in an inverted position that will reverse the flow. It is a restorative pose which is ideal for a gentle release after doing a sequence of poses. Plus, it can help to give you better sleep. Although it is a relatively easy pose you can perform on your own, you should do this with an instructor if you have back problems.
When you want to target areas of the body that are prone to aches and pains, like the back, joints, hands, and legs, it is ideal to do yoga that can build flexibility and strength. The Staff pose is recommended because it is effective in targeting those achy and painful areas. It strengthens the quadriceps and the muscles in the mid-back area, stabilizes the knees, and helps improve posture.
Studies show that meditation and yoga can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your cardiovascular health. The Chair pose might be a bit challenging but is highly recommended to be added to your routine since it requires your body to increase blood flow and improve breathing as it engages many areas of the body at once.
Tips for Senior Citizens Who Want to Do Yoga
You should focus on how you do rather than how much you can do. Don’t force yourself to go over your limits to avoid injury or worsening certain health conditions.
Understand what your body needs and which areas you should be targeting. There are yoga poses with modifications that can accommodate your physical limitations and health issues.
If you are a beginner, it is best to start doing yoga with the help of an instructor. You can join classes in a yoga studio or your community center.