Gaining age has its perks and benefits like you start maturing with age, you experience more wisdom and knowledge, you become more graceful, and you also start having perspective towards life. But, on the other hand, growing old can have many challenges as well, and that is mostly physical.
Once you start getting old, it becomes difficult to carry the extra weight that leads to a risk of life threatening diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular problems, stress on joints, osteoarthritis, pain and more.
Seniors also tend to experience more of stress and anxiety both emotionally and psychologically. Their memory start declining, they face vision impairment, and they also develop a sense of self-suffering.
Healthy eating and regular exercise are considered to be their best solution for preventing many diseases. This also helps in keeping their mind and body in good shape with other restorative health benefits.
Practicing yoga daily can have an array of both physical and psychological health benefits for seniors, especially when they are suffering from difficulties like joint pain, imbalance, and another kind of physical limitations.
The benefits of yoga for senior citizens can be summed up in the following points:
Improves Stability and Balance
There are yoga poses that focus specifically on improving stability and balance, which is essential for old age. Practicing yoga every day strengthens muscles and improves balance which prevents the chances of falling suddenly.
It Improves Flexibility
Flexibility becomes a primary concern during old age, thus looking for measures that will enhance flexibility becomes imperative for elders and yoga can perfectly fit the bill. Yoga poses are excellent for achy and stiff joints, in particular for the seniors suffering from osteoarthritis. The therapeutic benefits of yoga can bring relief achy joints.
It Improves Respiration
With age comes respiratory problems which lead to exertion and reduced tolerance. The reduction in oxygen level of the respiratory system can have several negative effects on mind and body. A regular yoga program can improve the regulatory function in elderly. Including some breathing yoga exercises in your daily routine can keep your respiratory system in good shape at any age.
It Controls High Blood Pressure
Hypertension, high pressure, and cardiovascular problems are all prevalent in old age, and any ignorance in getting them treated may lead to kidney problems. Studies have shown that yoga has the power to reduce the level of oxidative stress in senior citizens, which is also an underlying cause of high blood pressure.
It Reduces Anxiety
An hour long or 30 minutes long yoga session can be very restorative for body and relaxing for the mind. Those senior citizens who practice yoga regularly have reduced sympathetic nervous response. The escalated fight or flight response of the sympathetic nervous system can cause inflammation in your mind and body. Yoga is all about focusing on your breath that triggers the positive response from the parasympathetic nervous system thus reducing the feelings of stress and anxiety.
It Encourages Mindfulness
The added advantage of yoga for elderly is that it expands awareness about self through regular practice and brings mindfulness.
Once you start practicing, you will notice improvements in mindfulness about your body, emotions, and thoughts. You will feel more connected to the environment, your people, community and the world that has been created around you.