Yoga is fashionable, popular and so holistic in its approach that more people are converting to yoga adepts. While the “spiritual” aspect of yoga is a matter of faith, yoga exercises are reported to be beneficial for everyone, and seniors are no exception. In this article, we will discuss whether yoga is appropriate for seniors and what exercises they can do relatively easy.Yoga can seem to be controversial as not everyone approves of the chakra-part of the practice. However, it does not mean that you cannot do yoga exercises. According to scientists, doing yoga is beneficial in a number of ways, and it can help you improve flexibility, treat scoliosis, etc. Exercising can also improve your mood, so yoga exercises are a good way to break the habit of sitting all day long hunched over laptops and smartphones.
Are seniors and yoga compatible?The very word “yoga” conjures up images of young ladies reminding reef knots, and it is not evident that seniors can go in for yoga too. Well, this image is kind of misleading: yoga is available regardless of age, and the elderly are likely to benefit from yoga exercises too, especially if sessions are supervised by a professional who can consult and give advice on how to make exercises safer for joints and other body parts that might be harmed if moves are performed the wrong way. Besides the physical activity, yoga classes can be beneficial in terms of social interaction, which is especially important for seniors.
In what ways is yoga beneficial for seniors?Well, the answer is pretty much the same as in the case of younger people. Balance training can help prevent falls, strength is increased, muscles are toned, and if breathing exercises are added to the routine, they can benefit the lung function by increasing its capacity. Posture can be improved as well as pain can be alleviated to a certain extent. Yoga for seniors has its peculiarities, including a not-so-wide range of movement, choosing exercises carefully to reduce the risk of injuries, and using more tools. For example, chair yoga is a good option for the elderly, as it provides additional support and makes the senior less likely to fall while exercising. Another option is water yoga, which makes it easier to move due to water supporting the body.
WarningBefore you start your yoga sessions, consult a doctor to find out whether your health can afford such practices. Some diseases can prevent you from moving freely or make it dangerous to perform certain exercises, so knowing what should be avoided is highly recommended. It is worthy of note that even such conditions and diseases as arthritis and arthrosis should not be a reason to stop exercising at all, as your joints benefit from movement in most cases. A skillful yoga teacher knows what dangers there may be behind yoga poses, so consider exercising in a group that is guided by a professional.
Yoga poses for the elderlyYoga is adaptable, which means its exercises can be performed in a number of ways. There are plenty of poses to choose from, and among the ones that are easiest for the elderly and beginners are the following.
#1. SavasanaWhile it may look like lying and doing nothing, it’s not that simple. First, you should lie on the floor: there is great difference between lying on a hard surface and relaxing on your favorite mattress. Relax your muscles and take a deep breath.
#2. SphinxThis one is a bit tougher. The exercise can help prevent forward head syndrome and benefit the upper back. Lie down and place your forearms on the floor (use a mat to make it more comfortable to exercise). Your elbows should be under your shoulders. Try to draw shoulder blades together as you press into your arms, and make 5 to 7 breaths.
#3. Legs up the wallThe exercise does not require preparation but helps improve blood circulation and benefits the legs. Make sure to consult your cardiologist before performing exercises in which you are to hold your legs higher than your heart.
More exercises for seniors (and not only seniors) can be found on DoYouYoga, which offers free and paid courses and yoga sessions.
7 Yoga Poses for Seniors –Doyouyoga.com