• Can You Touch Your Toes? How Yoga Can Benefit Seniors

  • by Michelle Petrovic

While young and middle-aged adults attend yoga classes to achieve a toned body, senior citizens can use modified techniques to achieve a plethora of benefits. In fact, the benefits of yoga for senior citizens extend far beyond the physical effects. The benefits of yoga are endless! You can enter the world of yoga in your own home or attend classes. Read on for details.

Stability

Yoga challenges seniors to use their own body weight to improve overall body strength. One of the biggest concerns among senior citizens is the risk of falling. As the body ages, the bones, muscles and joints become weak and it becomes difficult to stand up from a chair let alone jog on a treadmill. By incorporating a regular yoga practice, the bones and muscles strengthen and the sense of body awareness improves. As a result, the risk of falls significantly decreases. You might want to consider doing yoga with a friend/caregiver until better stability is developed. Safety first!

Physical Benefits

Yoga can significantly decrease some common senior medical conditions when practiced regularly. Some of these conditions are: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety and depression. The stretches in yoga keep the cardio system healthy. A yoga session also helps burn calories which regulates body weight. And although yoga is not magical in that it can’t cure/prevent all medical conditions, it can help ease the symptoms of the conditions you may be experiencing. The stretching alone can significantly improve the pain associated with cancer, arthritis, back pain etc.

Click here for detailed yoga poses and instructions.

Emotional Benefits

Yoga enhances your understanding of life. Yoga changes an individual’s perspective about life. Yoga can help you find the understanding and acceptance of the loss of independence, loneliness and new illnesses that can cause anxiety and depression. As seniors begin to transition from an independent adult to a dependent one, that process can be very frustrating. Many of you start to feel the loneliness as children grow up and start their own families and perhaps when spouses and close friends pass away.  When you practice yoga regularly, you can begin to practice “Yoga off the mat,” which means knowing yourself “at peace.” The value of discovering one’s self and of enjoying that discovery is priceless.

Click here to find yoga classes in your neighborhood.

Improve Sleep Habits

During the later years of life, it can become difficult to not only fall asleep but STAY asleep. As a result, you feel tired throughout the day. Yoga can help with that too! The poses and relaxation techniques used in a yoga practice can help you get better sleep and improve your quality of sleep. Not to mention get rid of that sluggish feeling throughout the day. Virtually everyone who participates in yoga over a period of time reports a positive effect. So roll out that yoga mat. Namaste.

Click here for a list of DVDs you can purchase and get practicing at home!

Michelle Petrovic is a writer for Retiring Wise. Give us a call at (800)401-8114 to talk to one of our licensed professionals. They can discuss your financial situation with you and determine if a reverse mortgage makes sense for you and your financial goals.