Regular exercise is said to help people age more gracefully, but some may feel they are too out of shape to exercise. Anyone at any age or fitness level can practice yoga because of the varying types.
Chair yoga, gentle yoga, and beginner yoga classes are usually the best place to start. Chair yoga is good for those that may not be able to stand for extended periods of time. Most beginner classes include standing, sitting, and lying poses, but there are modified versions for those who cannot do the full pose. There are many yoga video tutorials online, but it is advisable to start with a class. A good teacher can make corrections to your posture. Proper posture is essential in yoga, as poor form can result in injury.
One of the benefits of yoga is easing arthritis and other joint pain. Yoga involves deep breathing and meditation, which is known to lower stress and anxiety. This will help lower your blood pressure and risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as help you relax the tension in your muscles. A yoga instructor can target certain areas of the body with gentle stretching to increase flexibility and strengthen your joints.
Yoga may also increase bone density, so if you are concerned about osteoporosis, yoga can at least help slow bone loss. Many people break bones because of balance issues; there are poses that can help to improve your balance and stability, thus lessening your chances of falling and breaking a bone.
Yoga can also build confidence in seniors. Someone starting a yoga practice may have to start out with modified versions on some poses, but in time they will notice their bodies becoming more flexible, and that they are able to reach or bend further. Seeing these differences can boost confidence and self-esteem.
The deep breathing and meditation of yoga has been shown to sharpen your mind and keep it focused and engaged. Joining a class will also introduce you to others around your age with similar interests, keeping you engaged socially.
Start slowly, and make sure you have a teacher that will work with you on your level. You will be glad you made the commitment to yoga when you see the difference in your mind and body.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan