Yoga for Senior Citizens

International Day of Yoga is a global event celebrated on every 21st of June. This year the whole world we will celebrate the seventh International Day of Yoga. This day was declared by UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY (UNGA) in December 2014. International Day of Yoga is a worldwide event and is celebrated by all to spread awareness.

However, till now yoga was considered a practice involving complex asanas with asanas and poses having body contortions which becomes difficult to follow in old age specially for seniors starting the practice late in life. However, Happy60plus works towards making our yogic science all-inclusive yoga for all by conducting yoga classes specially designed for all senior citizens.

Emotional and physical well-being for senior citizens is basis of a happy and independent ageing experience. Yoga, our traditional Indian practice is important for healthy mind, body & soul as it help to bring mental peace, happiness and calmness in life along with physical strength.

Age welcomes the demons of declining physical and mental health impairing various facets of life at large. However, now this hurdle can be combated using the elixir that is yoga. Yoga is a holistic practice combining physical poses (asanas), breathing techniques, and meditation that originated in ancient India. Regular yoga practice not only boosts immunity but also unites the body, mind and soul to attain calm and peace. Yoga has been proved to alleviate or reduce various health ailments making it a popular choice of exercise among older adults.

How precautions need to be kept in mind when yoga is performed by senior citizens?

 Senior citizens should perform yoga carefully. There are some suggested guidelines for practicing Yoga with active older adults:

  • They should perform Yoga under the guidance of a yoga expert or a yoga instructor.
  • The instructor should be aware of their health concerns and ability level.
  • Due care should be taken for body alignment and posture.
  • Reduce the length of time for which a yoga pose is maintained.
  • Older participants may not have the strength required to hold the pose for a longer period of time but will gain strength from practicing the pose even for ten or fifteen seconds.
  • Whenever there is a stretch in a particular asana, care should be taken to relax the tension.
  • Encourage them and praise their efforts.
  • Focus on poses, which stretch and strengthen areas, which are typically tight or weak in seniors. Ankles, hips, hamstrings, low back, and pectorals need special attention.
  • Do not perform a lot of complicated poses.

Best Yoga asanas for elderly:

  1. Shavasana
  2. Uttanapadasana
  3. Naukasana
  4. Pawanmuktasana
  5. ArdhaShalbhasana
  6. Shalbhasana
  7. Bhujanasana
  8. Makrasana
  9. AnulomVilom Pranayama
  10. Bhramri Pranayama

Yoga serves several health benefits among senior citizens such as:

  • Strengthened bones. Yoga for seniors can help prevent the onset of osteoporosis, which causes bones to become brittle or weak. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone can’t keep up with the decrease of bone mass and density that occurs with aging.
  • Reduced stress. Yoga offers a relaxing way to let go of the tension one is holding in the body, especially in the shoulders and upper back. It’s been known to help relieve some of the stresses that lead to hypertension, which in turn leads to not needing as many medications on a daily basis. Yoga also helps reduce anxiety, lowering the heart rate, blood pressure, and helping to breathe easier.
  • Improved sleeping habits. Because yoga for seniors can be so relaxing, many individuals report that they are sleeping longer and more soundly, which can often be an issue for older adults.
  • Lessen the risk for depression. Yoga is a mood-booster; the combination of movement, breathing and meditation can create an overall sense of well-being. Plus, because yoga is done in a class setting with peers, providing the benefit of staying socially active, as well.
  • Alleviate aches and pains. Even if one have some physical limitations, yoga can help ease the aches and pains associated with aging. Yoga can be especially beneficial to those suffering from osteoarthritis, teaching how to breathe and relax through any chronic pain one may be dealing with.

Yoga is becoming popular among senior citizens by the day as they reap the physical, mental and emotional benefits offered by yoga. Thus, regular practice of yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation can help one enjoy a fulfilling life.

Yoga has been called one of the best forms of exercise for older adults. Over time and with the proper classes, seniors can improve their flexibility and balance, enhance their strength and boost their mood.

Happy60plus conducts online Yoga classes for the senior citizens.

Our special Chair & Wall support yoga is designed specifically for those elderly who have knee issues, or problems of maintaining proper balance and posture but can do yogic practices and those asanas and pranayama which can lead to relaxation, contentment, breathing exercises and basic movements for flexibility, joint movement, strengthening body muscles and keep the body energetic and happy!

If you are interested in joining our Yoga Classes for seniors, do connect with us and we shall help you!

References: the extract on important asanas was from gyanunlimited.

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