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Yoga for The Elderly – By Ira Trivedi

Yoga for The Elderly

Daily practice of Yoga is scientifically proven to maintain joint flexibility and promote longevity.

Age is just a number if you plan to switch to a better lifestyle and opt for yoga. It’s never too late to reap the benefits of yoga, and there is no age bar for learning. Yoga asanas are not only limited to young adults but are also meant for all ages.

Yoga rejuvenates our mind, body, and spirit. It tones our bodies, balances our hormones and improves the functioning of internal organs. These benefits give a lot more reason to delve into a more profound yoga practice, irrespective of age.

As we grow older, it becomes vital to embrace yoga techniques and assimilate their benefits to lead a healthy life.

Yoga techniques such as meditation, stretching, and deep breathing can be a universal cure for overall wellness. Nowadays, yoga is becoming a lot more popular amongst people of the older generation who are otherwise entrenched in boredom.

This article is especially for senior citizens who are hunting for safe and efficacious ways of escalating their physical and mental well-being. 

Health benefits of Yoga for Senior Citizens:

Health benefits of Yoga for Senior Citizens

Yoga can have tonnes of therapeutic effects if practised regularly, like greater flexibility, improved balance, lower stress, and better sleep.

The best thing about yoga asanas is that they can be easily modified to accommodate an individual’s needs.

Therefore, it becomes safe and suitable for catering to senior citizens and abilities. These are great ways for older people to stay fit and healthy when compared to other physical activities like weightlifting or jogging, which can cause muscle stress and joint pain.

Here are a few associated benefits of yoga that can help you grow old healthily and gracefully. 

  • Improves flexibility and reduces joint stiffness:

As per the reports published by the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, regular practice of yoga can significantly boost the overall flexibility in older adults.

Yoga postures allow a person to step out of their comfort zone and know their true capacity.

It offers several stretching exercises that require holding positions and focusing on the breath, which helps to reduce back pain that comes with age. 

  • Regulates sleeping patterns and reduces stress:

Meditation and mindful breathing yoga techniques are the catalysts for finding inner peace. They lower blood pressure, relieve stress and ease feelings of depression and anxiety.

Regular yoga practice gives a person a tranquil asylum from the chaos of the world and alleviates sleep disturbances.

Research has shown that yoga improves the mood and memory of people who are consistent with their practice. 

  •  Improvement in respiratory function:

Pranayama is the core of yoga, which mainly focuses on breathing patterns. It expands the lung capacity and improves the pulmonary health of a person who follows a regular Pranayama practice three times a week.

  •   Aids in digestion:

The special twisting yoga poses that consist of inversions and forward folds help the digestive organs. It increases blood flow and oxygen delivery, which aids the process of peristalsis and encourages better digestion.

  • Strengthens bones and muscles:

If a person is suffering from osteoporosis, then yoga can be helpful in improving bone strength and density.

  • Improves immunity:

Growing old opens the door for several diseases. Therefore, strong immunity is essential for staying healthy. Yoga techniques such as Asanas, Pranayama, and meditation boost immunity and make a person healthier. 

Recommended Story – Suffering From Sinusitis? Practice These Yoga Poses For Relief

6 Yoga Postures For Older Folks:

There are dozens of Yoga asanas from sitting to lying down, and from traditional to modern chair yoga that is beneficial for elderly people. 

1. Trikonasana( Triangle Pose)

Trikonasana( Triangle Pose)

It helps in strengthening and stretching the hip region and regulating blood pressure, which is common amongst senior citizens.

2. Badhakonasana( Butterfly pose)

Badhakonasana( Butterfly pose)

This pose helps in improving digestion as it clears bowel movements. The stretching of thighs and knees improves flexibility and reduces stiffness in the body.

3. Shishuasana (child pose)

Shishuasana (child pose)

Backache is a part and parcel of ageing. This pose relaxes the back and nervous system, reducing the issue of back pain. 

4. Bhujangasana( Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana( Cobra Pose)

It improves flexibility and strengthens the back and shoulders. Holding on to this position for a while also improves blood circulation and makes a person energetic.

5. Pawanmuktasana (Wind relieving pose)

Pawanmuktasana (Wind relieving pose)

This asana increases blood flow to specific body parts, such as the hip joints, and relieves tension in the area. It is also beneficial for relieving flatulence that causes digestive problems in elderly people.

6. Special Chair Yoga

Special Chair Yoga

Chair yoga is simple and can be performed by elderly people who are facing mobility issues. Some of the poses are neck roll, cow stretch, seated forward bend, eagle arms, seated spinal twist, and temple rub.

These asanas might appear easy, but they have several advantages. It relaxes the neck and back muscles, reducing stress. It helps in alleviating body pain, tension, and fatigue.

It also improves mind-body coordination and infuses the sense of balance. Furthermore, it increases flexibility and muscle strength​.

Precautions:

Never set a bar for experimenting and trying new things. One must enjoy the priceless addition of yoga at any age, but also remember to keep certain guidelines in mind before practising this elixir of life.

  • It takes time to understand one’s body and its needs. Thus, practising yoga with a trained yoga professional and discussing ailments with them can help to reduce the likelihood of injury. They should substitute heavy warm-ups with brisk walking and simple joint movements for better results.
  • Physical activity is a necessity for staying fit, but at this juncture of life, senior citizens should focus more on quality instead of quantity. Focus on performing the right yoga postures and repeating poses rather than performing more and holding them for a long time.
  • It is the key to consistency, and improper or lack of rest can cause hindrance in the flow of yoga. Focus on your pace and don’t rush into other postures. One must avoid forcing any asanas because yoga should never hurt. Make sure that your body has adjusted to your daily yoga routine or ask your trainer for a modified version.

Yoga is becoming popular amongst senior citizens because its rewards are not only limited to the outer body but also impact our inner self. Yoga helps develop stronger immunity and is encapsulated with a lot of health benefits.

However, it should not be seen as a substitute for prescribed medicine. Yoga is an addition to a lifestyle that can prevent disease but cannot eradicate the roots of disease that have already entangled a person.

In the case of any medical condition, one must practice yoga postures only after consulting a doctor. 

Get started today to tap into the amazing health benefits of yoga that prove to be extremely rewarding in old age.

Also Read – Eye Yoga For Better Eyesight – By Ira Trivedi

  

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Written by Ira Trivedi

Ira Trivedi is a celebrity influencer and an author of a few international best-sellers. She is touted as one of India's modern age yoginis with her own original on Disney+ Hotstar, television shows on Doordarshan, and India TV, she has been spreading the love for yoga all around the world. She is the founder of Yog Love where along with our physical studios, we have established a new virtual studio and have celebrities, nutritionists, wellness enthusiasts, and students from 13 countries practicing with us every day.

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