You don’t have to be a spring chicken to benefit from yoga! Here are 4 reasons why seniors should consider starting a yoga practice.
Many people mistakenly think that yoga is only for young, flexible people, but yoga can provide great health benefits for those all all ages and fitness levels. In fact, yoga may be especially beneficial for seniors, and can help improve balance as well as joint flexibility and mobility issues that may become a problem as we age.
The strengthening benefits that yoga provides also help the elderly to maintain muscle tone and bone strength and density.
Here are 4 reasons that older adults should consider taking up yoga:
1.) Improves Muscle Tone
As we age, muscle mass naturally begins to deteriorate. Engaging in even a gentle hatha yoga practice can have a beneficial effect on strengthening and toning muscles. Plank pose, Downward-Facing Dog, Warrior I, and Warrior II are good for building strength, especially for those new to yoga.
2.) Enhances Flexibility
Over time and with decreased activity, muscles lose some of their elasticity, making even common everyday tasks like tying your shoes more difficult. For those with decreased flexibility, try Seated Forward Bend with or without a yoga strap to stretch the shoulders and hamstrings; Cat and Cow poses to bring flexibility to the spine; low lunge to open the hip flexors; and side-bending Mountain pose to elongate the muscles along the torso.
3.) Eases Aches and Pains
Studies show that yoga is effective at treating some forms of chronic pain, including pain and stiffness from arthritis and repetitive stress syndrome. Yoga is gentler than some weight-bearing exercises that can put excess stress on the joints, and it helps to reduce overall tension. Cobra and Child’s pose both help ease back pain. Bound Angle pose helps with hip pain. Standing Forward Fold increases flexibility in the spine and hamstrings, targeting achy low backs.
4.) Builds Stronger Bones
A decrease of bone density is one of the biggest concerns among aging adults. Research has found that yoga improves bone density in people who have suffered from bone loss, including those with osteoporosis or osteopenia. Yoga uses opposing muscle groups and gravity to put pressure on the bones, which increases the production of bone-growing cells. Triangle pose, Warrior I and II, and Plank pose all emphasize opposing muscles.
Read More at YogaBasics.com…