The overall benefits of relaxation, breathing and gentle postures associated with yoga offer a powerful, yet low-cost and accessible means to enhance quality of life and to ease the suffering caused by many ailments common to seniors, including arthritis, chronic pain, and heart disease.
Yoga is a series of stretches and poses that you do with breathing techniques. A gentle form of exercise, yoga can be practiced by almost anyone, regardless of age or fitness level.
There are many styles of yoga, and all styles can help balance your body, mind, and spirit, but they achieve it in various ways. Some yoga styles are intense and vigorous. Others are relaxing and meditative. No matter which type you choose, yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen your body, focus your mind, and relax your spirit.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga can make you stronger, more flexible and improve balance. Yoga can also help improve these conditions:
- Poor blood circulation
- High blood pressure
- Limited mobility
- Lower back pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Tension or stress
The first step is making sure yoga is appropriate for you to practice. It is best to consult with your physician before starting any new exercise regimen. If you have special health considerations such as a joint replacement, arthritis, balance problems, high blood pressure, glaucoma, or other health issues, talk with your health care provider before starting yoga.
The next step is to find the right yoga style for you and an experienced teacher you like. Senior centers, as well as gyms, dance studios, and health clubs, may offer gentle yoga, chair yoga or seniors yoga classes.
Once you find a yoga class that suits your needs, make sure to let the teacher know about any health conditions you may have like high blood pressure or arthritis. Tell him or her about any injuries or physical problems. A good teacher will know which exercises are best for you and tell you which poses to avoid.
To find a doctor or schedule an appointment, visit Steward DoctorFinder™.
*Source: National Institute on Aging, www.nia.nih.gov