About 2.9 million seniors are currently practicing yoga according to a study conducted by Yoga Journal. Looking at the benefits that yoga can provide, this number is not surprising, as the practice of yoga is easy on the body and does not have a hard impact on the joints.
While beginning yoga and senior yoga classes are both very similar, you must understand a few key differences. Firstly, senior yoga classes will have some modification poses to help you get used to the exercise and learn your limitations. Beginning yoga classes for seniors also feature poses that are less strenuous and give you an opportunity to build up strength and flexibility. This allows you to eventually take part in the more difficult yoga poses. The classes also include a longer warm up time and longer meditation. One of the most important factors of a senior yoga class is also concentration on the breathing patterns.
Yoga exercise offers seniors with a great number of benefits, as it can be done by anyone, at any fitness level. Yoga is a non-competitive exercise and you are able to modify each position to fit your own comfort. Yoga specifically improves your flexibility, which is wonderful for seniors who suffer from arthritis or stiff joints. It has also been discovered that yoga can help to improve the symptoms of depression, which is a problem many seniors struggle with as they age. Performing yoga also helps to improve energy levels, bone frailty, cholesterol, blood pressure, pain and blood sugar levels. It can also help to prevent weight gain, diabetes and heart disease.
For a senior’s yoga class, certain poses may be utilized more than others may. Most of the poses will concentrate on flexibility, balance and overall strength. Other work may include forward and backward bending and left-to-right twisting.
While yoga is one of the gentlest exercises available, it can also be quite intense for some students. You must pay attention to your body while doing yoga and if you feel muscles stretching too far, then modify the pose to your comfort level. It is also a good idea to use props that will assist your balance during the poses. For example, you may consider using a chair instead of bending over to touch the floor with your fingers. It is all about your own personal comfort.
Do you practice yoga or know someone who does? Would you consider a senior’s yoga class? Let us know what you think below.