I’m sure you’re tired of hearing how beneficial it is to keep active in your senior years. Especially because people often talk about the benefits, but they don’t actually give ways to get started.
Well, that changes today because I’m not only telling you why yoga is so beneficial, I’m also giving you a few tips to help you get started.
Yoga is a holistic practice, meaning it combines many different things, including physical poses, mindfulness, meditation and breathing techniques. All of these practices together promote balance, functional mobility, and even self-discovery.
For many seniors, yoga is quite an intimidating practice because they believe they need all these physical skills to get into the poses. But actually, yoga is for everyone because it’s highly adaptable. Plus, there are many different types of yoga that seniors can engage with safely and without putting stress on their bodies.
Among the benefits yoga provides are these: it can lower the risk of heart disease, it helps us improve balance and prevent falls, it can manage anxiety and depression, it improves focus and memory, as well as the quality of our sleep, and it can also help us manage pain, diabetes, arthritis, inflammation, and even digestive issues.
To get started with yoga, the first thing you need to do is choose the kind of yoga you want to practice or in the very least make a list and give them all a try to find the right variation for you.
Like I mentioned before, there are many different kinds of yoga that are perfect for seniors and here are the most common ones:
1. Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is any kind of yoga that focuses on physical posture. This kind of yoga will introduce you to the most basic poses and it can serve as a perfect starting point.
2. Vinyasa Yoga: The focus of this kind of yoga is fluid movements, which means that you’ll move from pose to pose continuously. It also promotes meditation because the atmosphere in these classes is calming and relaxing.
3. Bikram Yoga: Bikram yoga, also known as “hot yoga,” are classes where the heat is turned up. This is not for everyone, though, because you sweat quite a lot and your heart rate goes up.
4. Chair Yoga: Chair yoga is meant for people who can’t stand for long periods of time or do exercises on a mat. Poses for this kind of yoga are modified for chairs, and it’s a great workout.
5. Water Yoga: Water yoga is exactly what you think it is: poses done in the water. This is a senior favorite because it’s super low-impact and it reduces joint pain.
Once you’ve decided on the kind of yoga you’d like to try, the next thing you need to do is consult it with your doctor to make sure you’re a go. They can even help you choose in case you’re unsure!
When you get the okay from your physician, you need to look for yoga programs or classes near you. Community centers, yoga studios, gyms—these are all places that offer yoga classes in your area. Do an online search and make sure you read the reviews if you can find them so you can make an informed choice!
If you decide that the type of yoga you chose is not the right fit, try a different one. And if you don’t like the group setting, you can always strike a pose at home. Just make sure you’re aware of your physical limits and do it safely.
Last but not least: go for it! It can be intimidating at first, yes, but it will be incredibly rewarding in the end.