Many senior citizens are forced to give up their fitness regimes as they get older, especially high impact sports like running, basketball, and skiing. Yoga classes are a healthy, low-impact way for seniors to stay active and physically fit.
Yoga For the Elderly
A good senior class will be geared specifically towards the needs of an older student and will include poses that are doable for mature practitioners. There are several body-mind health benefits from senior yoga (see below), and the following Do’s and Dont’s will help you choose a safe class that will help you meet your fitness goals.
Benefits of senior yoga: A good yoga routine offers many benefits for seniors, including:
- Increased muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance, balance and energy.
- Relief from common senior maladies, like arthritis, high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Relief of aches and pains.
- Increased enthusiasm, alertness, positivity and self-acceptance.
- Find a class. There are many classes geared specifically for seniors, but if you can’t find one in your area, ask local yoga schools if the exercises in their basic classes are age-appropriate.
- If you have any injuries, let your teacher know exactly what they are before beginning yoga.
- Stop the minute you feel pain, and let your teacher know.
- Acquaint yourself with some of the basic poses before class. (Some of the more popular ones are Frog, Mountain and Crocodile.)
- Use the restroom before practice.
- Don’t eat before class. Yoga is best performed on a nearly empty stomach.
- Don’t push yourself too hard. Part of yoga is awareness. Pay attention to what your body is telling you, and if a pose hurts, listen to what your body saying and stop!
- Don’t expect immediate results. Yoga is a practice, and it will take several sessions before you begin to feel its full benefits.
One step further
Typical yoga classes focus on the physical aspects of yoga. But the benefits of yoga increase if you follow all aspects of the yoga way of life, including meditation, breathing exercises, diet and much more.