The right type of yoga exercise varies in every person. Factors to consider include the age, capability, and present health condition. In addition to its health benefits, attending yoga classes also helps establish friendship with your instructions and fellow students.
Seniors may learn yoga from videos and books. However, it is still highly recommended that they attend an actual class to maximize the benefits of yoga. This will also reduce the risk of injury.
Gentle movement and stretching through beginners yoga poses can reduce swelling in joints while increasing joint mobility and improves balance, which helps in reducing falls. Seniors Yoga improves cardiovascular health, aids digestion and elimination, improves sleep and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. It has also been shown to speed the recovery from surgery and also aid in the grieving process. Yoga poses or stretches should never hurt; release the stretch if it is causing any pain.
Yoga is recommended for better management of osteoarthritis because of its therapeutic effects. It is also known to improve one’s ability to concentrate. Lung capacity will be increased through pranayama, which involves breathing exercises that can improve sleep.
For seniors who cannot stand for long periods, chair yoga is the perfect exercise for them. The chair, which will provide support, should not have wheels.
Come to sit on a chair with the spine long and both feet on the floor. Place your hands on your knees or the tops of your thighs. On an inhale, arch your spine and roll your shoulders down and back, bringing your shoulder blades onto your back.. This is cow position. On an exhale, round your spine and drop your chin to your chest, letting the shoulder and head come forward. This is cat position. Continue moving between cow on the inhalations and cat on the exhalations for five breaths.
Watch the video below for a guide on gentle chair yoga for seniors.