For over a year now, I have had the pleasure of sharing chair yoga with seniors. It's wonderful to see the positive effects over time the practice has. Check out the article below. Great links too!
6 Reasons Why Seniors Should Get Into Yoga, by Harry Cline
Yoga has been trendy for the last decade, and it’s no surprise why: it’s exceptionally versatile. At its core, yoga is meant for you at any level. You don’t need to do a backbend to get into yoga. You don’t even need to be able to touch your toes. Yoga has benefits both physical and spiritual. Even if you don’t feel up to it, you should consider giving yoga a try. Here’s why.
It’s Super Accessible
Regardless of your current flexibility, there’s a yoga for you. There are many different kinds of yoga and levels of practice, so it’s easy for you to get into. You can do it anywhere, even with your caregiver. If you don’t know where to start, there are online tutorials and classes. If you’d rather learn in person, there are classes available at local recreation centers. You can search online for local yoga studios, and many of them offer discounts and options for beginners.
It Can Help with Chronic Pain and Osteoporosis
A recent article published by HuffPost highlighted an important benefit of practicing yoga: it can improve bone density. For people who are already having problems with osteoporosis, it can slow or even reverse problems with bone density loss. Yoga can strengthen the nervous system and promote gray matter retention as you age, which protects your brain and can help you manage chronic pain.
Yoga Actually Helps Your Heart
A recent scientific study showed that yoga not only assists with flexibility and developing strength, but it can also increase the amount of oxygen that your body uses and positively impact metabolic capacity. Yoga is a proven way to not only become stronger but keep your cardiovascular system and lungs healthy.
Another way that yoga can help your heart is by decreasing blood pressure. One study showed that doing yoga for one hour a day could have an even more significant impact on blood pressure than changing lifestyle factors.
Yoga Builds Mental Wellness
According to Newsweek, yoga has multiple benefits for emotional health. It’s been shown to be effective at alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also helps in the treatment of eating disorders, PTSD, and other psychiatric disorders. A major part of yoga is learning techniques that can help you manage stress and see your body as something that you work with, rather than against. Building mental wellness in a sustained way is an important part of aging well and maintaining health.
Meditation and Yoga are Powerful Tools for Addiction
Meditation plays an important role in building mental and spiritual strength, as well as preventing addiction relapse. Integrate meditation into your life by practicing it while you do yoga, as yoga is a meditative act. Studies even show that yoga and meditation combine to form a powerful tool that can change you at the cellular level.
Addiction recovery requires mental and spiritual strength, but having a good relationship with your physical self also plays a critical role in addiction recovery. Building yourself physically can help your body retrain itself and avoid entrenched ways of thinking. For many people in recovery, having a good relationship with the physical self is as important as the spiritual one.
Yoga Can Help You Maintain Independence
Nearly all people want to live a long life where they can maintain independence and stay healthy. The secret is exercise. Yoga isn’t just for increasing flexibility or maintaining mobility. It’s an exercise that can help you lose weight, become stronger, and maintain aerobic health.
Yoga has a dose-dependent effect: the more you do it, the more awesome you feel. No matter what age or level of strength, you can do yoga. It’ll build your strength and flexibility, improve your relationship with your physical and spiritual self, and eases the aging process.
Harry Cline is creator of NewCaregiver.org and author of the upcoming book, The A-Z Home Care Handbook: Health Management How-Tos for Senior Caregivers. As a retired nursing home administrator, father of three, and caregiver to his ninety-year-old uncle, Harry knows how challenging and rewarding caregiving can be. He also understands that caregiving is often overwhelming for those just starting out. He created his website and is writing his new book to offer new caregivers everywhere help and support.