How can we continue to practice yoga healthily and safely as we age? As we age, we are more likely to experience chronic injuries, muscle and joint wear and tear, and a decrease in skin elasticity. Even though stiffness, reduced mobility, and decreased strength are often associated with aging, these side effects are not always guaranteed. Regular yoga practice can help improve physical function and mental health. It also helps with pain, flexibility, balance, and flexibility.
Yoga for the Elderly: Studies
Meta-analysis in the April 2019 edition of the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity shows the powerful benefits of yoga to older yoga practitioners. Researchers examined 22 studies from 10 databases in the article to see if they could find any proof that yoga is beneficial for people as they get older.
The inclusion criteria for the study included adults aged 60 years and older without any previous recruitment of yoga based on health issues. The studies examined ranged in duration from 1-7 months, with 30-90 minutes sessions practiced 2-3 times per week. In the studies, eight yoga styles were used. Hatha Yoga, Iyengar, and chair yoga were the most popular. The researchers used statistical analysis to compare the results from the studies with other forms of activity like gentle aerobics and walking, as well as not doing any exercise at all.
Yoga is good for your overall health
Participants also showed an improved sense of mental health and emotional well-being compared to those who did not exercise or only performed other physical activities.
A variety of mental and emotional issues can also challenge people. The loss of loved ones can trigger these feelings and the fact that physical abilities are declining. Fear of death is also a factor.
Essential yoga poses for older practitioners
This yoga for the aging programs uses a variety of postures, including Cat and Cow/Dog poses, Tree, Triangles, Seated Twists, Mountain Pose, Warrior Is, Cobras, Chairs, Eagles, Locusts, Downward-Facing Dogs, Wind Relieving Pose, Child’s Pose, Standing Hand to Feet pose, and Cow Face. When practicing these poses, it is highly recommended that you modify the postures and use props. This group of people must change or avoid yoga poses if they are experiencing joint pain.
Yoga for Healthy Aging: Other Research
The study’s results also support other research on yoga and its benefits for health. In the Future of Science OA of June 2016, an exciting article explores the Anti-aging Effects of Pranayama Practice. Although more studies are required, there appears to be a positive correlation between yoga and reduced aging effects on the skin. This is due mainly to the antioxidant and cleaning effects of specific postures and breath practices.
Yoga is good for the aging body
Yoga’s holistic approach to wellness is based on the interconnectedness between the mind and body and the various aspects of life. This old way of living and practice incorporates physical poses breathing exercises, and meditation. People can choose the combination that best suits their needs. It is essential to be realistic about our abilities and to practice according to our level. However, we should not let the fear of pain, aging, or perceived limitations stand in the way.
Choose your path
He continued to practice yoga daily well into his nineties. He said, “Often, people believe that as they age, they should practice dhyana or japa instead of pranayama and asana. I am not the type of sadhana who hides behind old age. I won’t run from my practice because I fear old age. I’ve increased my time because of my age. Both mind and body want to surrender. “I daily command my mind and body to stand strong with willpower so that I don’t surrender to the weakness in my body and mind.”
Yoga is not a “one-size-fits-all” practice, and we must always face the challenge of simply showing up on the mat despite any physical or mental resistance. Regular yoga practice is a great way to improve your overall health. There are many options for modifications, which makes it a lifelong practice.