Aging is the gradual accumulation of changes to our bodies as we age, such as physical, mental, emotional and social effects. Aging is a natural process but may be hastened by environmental or lifestyle factors like stress, poor diet and lack of exercise. Yoga provides a great opportunity to slow down this aging process while improving quality of life for seniors.
Yoga is a series of movements and breathing techniques designed to develop flexibility, balance, strength and relaxation. Yoga can assist with physical fitness and research has demonstrated its benefits at reducing heart disease risk, improving mood and decreasing symptoms of depression. Yoga practice may also prove useful for managing chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis.
Many older adults find yoga to be beneficial in strengthening bones, improving balance and relieving back pain. Yoga may even prevent falls and injuries that could potentially result in life-altering disabilities for themselves and other older adults.
Yoga practice can help seniors feel more at home in their bodies and decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation associated with growing older. Yoga may also assist seniors in sleeping better at night, which could reduce some health conditions that affect sleep quality such as high blood pressure or heart disease; in addition, its relaxing nature helps relieve anxiety and stress that often contribute to such health conditions.