Yoga is an easy and safe way to improve both your mental well-being and overall health, especially for people over 60. Yoga for seniors can improve their balance and flexibility.
However, that is not all. The benefits of doing yoga when you’re over 60 are countless. Read on to learn everything about yoga for seniors and all the benefits that come along.
Can I practice yoga as a senior?
Yes, you can practice yoga as a senior. If you are in good health, there is no reason for you not to practice yoga. In fact, yoga is highly recommended for seniors. You will be surprised to hear that in the United Kingdom, 12 million people over 65 practice yoga.
Meaning, the popularity of yoga in constantly increasing in the last 3 decades. Physical fitness is important when it comes to preventing illnesses that usually strike people over 60. Also, it improves the mental well-being of the person who’s constantly active.
As you can see, you can practice yoga at any age. According to an American study made by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance in 2016, over 14 million people over 50 who live in the United States practice yoga. It is believed that yoga for seniors is the perfect activity and key to good health and quality life in the golden years.
Read more: How To Stay Young
Which type of yoga is right for me?
It depends on your age, health, level of fitness and physical condition which type of yoga is suitable for you. These factors play an important role in choosing the best type of yoga you can practice without any difficulties and health consequences. But keep in mind that before you begin practicing any type of yoga, you should consult your doctor.
Where can I find classes for seniors?
You can learn how to practice yoga from videos and books. But visiting yoga classes has its benefits. And it is also advisable, especially for beginners. It is better to learn how to practice yoga with the help of a qualified yoga instructor, rather than starting on your own. Plus, you will get useful tips and poses on how to reduce the risk of injury.
As for where can you find classes for seniors, because yoga for seniors has become a very popular activity, it is easy to find classes for yoga. You can check the next spots:
- Retirement communities
- Health clubs and gyms
- Community centers
- Local senior centers
- Religious organizations
- Wellness magazines and local newspapers
What do I need to know before my first yoga class?
If you already consulted your doctor and found the perfect yoga type, it is important to know what to wear, what to bring and how to act right before your first yoga class.
What to wear?
Fitted and comfortable clothing is perfect for yoga because different types of yoga require different types of stretching. This is why baggy clothes aren’t recommended. However, your leggings or exercise pants will do the job. Also, keep in mind that yoga is done barefoot. However, you can bring your non-slip socks until you get comfortable.
What to bring?
You can attend your first yoga class not wearing anything special, however, it’s a good idea to bring your medical ID bracelet, a bottle of water, your doctor’s details to give to your teacher in case you injure yourself or something else happens, a towel and mat. Usually, most places provide a mat for their practitioners for free or at a minimal cost. Keep in mind that you have to take off your shoes, so it is best if you arrive in sandals.
How to act?
We have a few etiquette tips for you when it comes to yoga, although yoga etiquette varies from site to site. In general, it is suggested that you arrive 10 minutes earlier. Also, in order to keep the place hygienic, leave your shoes outside or put them in a bag before you enter the class. Turn your phone to silent mood or turn it off completely.
Extra useful tips for seniors
In case you’re still feeling insecure and don’t know what to do before your first yoga class, we provided extra tips you will find useful, especially if you’re a beginner at yoga.
- Keep yourself well-hydrated: drink a lot of water before and after yoga class.
- Have a light snack an hour or two before class: heavy food can make you feel sick while practicing. Also, it will decrease your current stretching capacity.
- Balance trick: If you have a hard time maintaining your balance, try focusing on one spot only. Or simply ask for your yoga instructor to help you out and don’t push yourself. Take your time and ask for advice on best poses to avoid injury.
Benefits of yoga for seniors
As we mentioned at the beginning, the benefits of yoga for seniors are countless. Not just for seniors but everyone who’s a fan of this practice. Here are some of the main health benefits of practicing yoga from time to time, especially in your golden years.
Yoga for seniors helps you lose all the extra weight
Yoga is the last activity that comes in mind when you want to lose weight, however, it is ideal for seniors who want to lose a few pounds. According to experts, if you practice yoga regularly, it will speed up your metabolism. Slow metabolism is one of the common reason for gaining weight. It also helps you build muscle and increase your heart rate.
Yoga for seniors improves your posture and balance
Practicing yoga can also help you maintain your balance and will improve your posture. And all this results in fewer falls. Balance represents one of the first things all people start to lose when they get older. And balance is important for preventing falls because falls are the leading cause of death among seniors, according to an old report published in 2014 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America. Doing yoga might improve your agility and mobility thanks to the precise and slow yoga movements.
Yoga for seniors can help you reduce pain
Chronic pain is a common issue among seniors, especially the pain that’s associated with joint problems and arthritis. However, thanks to yoga, you can say goodbye to the pain. It’s a natural remedy for chronic pain. According to a study made by Sonia Gaur of the psychology department at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, it was proven that people who practiced yoga for 90 minutes, 3 times per week for 4 weeks, experienced a decrease in aches and pain. Also, most of the patients reduced their intake of pain medications.
Yoga for seniors boosts your brain function and cognitive ability
Practicing yoga for seniors isn’t just good for the body but also for the brain in seniors. According to research made by a graduate student, Neha Gothe and her colleagues at the University of Illinois, it was discovered that doing yoga boosts brain function and cognitive ability. If you practice yoga 3 times per week for two months, it will improve your mental flexibility, improve memory, boost your brain function and cognitive ability.