The practice of Yoga incorporates various elements of breath, movement, and reflection into an immersive experience that tends to the body, mind, and spirit in ways that foster feelings of connectedness.
For aging seniors, practicing yoga can create an opportunity to participate in a gentle form of physical activity, that also offers a setting in which seniors can tend to themselves and cultivate a deeper awareness of themselves, their bodies, and how they connect to the world around them. Research suggests that seniors can reap a great many benefits from taking part in the practice of yoga, so it is worth exploring the options that are available in the Edmonton area and discovering more about what yoga can offer in terms of improving the overall state of wellbeing that seniors experience on a daily basis.
The results of research that has been performed regarding the potential impacts that yoga can have upon the seniors’ health and wellbeing indicate that practicing yoga can lead to positive outcomes for seniors. The appreciation and emphasis that the practice of yoga places upon the connection that exists between body and mind allows seniors who practice yoga to experience benefits that have the capacity to improve their mental, physical, and spiritual health. The following are just some examples of the many benefits that seniors can experience from cultivating a yoga practice:
- Balance and Stability: Many of the poses and movements involved in practicing yoga involve some degree of balance and stability. Practicing yoga on a routine basis can help seniors to improve their balance and strengthen the stabilizing muscles that can help to reduce their chances of falling or increase their ability to catch themselves.
- Better Respiratory Function: The practice of yoga places a great deal of value and emphasis upon purposeful and connected breathing exercises that can help to improve the health of the respiratory system.
- Blood-Pressure Management: Yoga has been shown to reduce the oxidative stress that is among the causes of high blood-pressure, thus helping to protect against hypertension and heart attack.
- Confidence: Building a stronger connection to the body and learning new poses can help seniors to cultivate a greater sense of confidence in themselves. Not only are they learning new skills and mastering new poses, but they are also taking control of their minds and bodies in ways that can help them to feel empowered as they go out into the world and live their daily lives.
- Flexibility: Many seniors face problems with their joints as they grow older and they begin to feel stiffer. Yoga offers a gentle, low-impact way to loosen muscles and increase flexibility so that seniors can experience more comfortable mobility.
- Improved Sleep: The calming effect that yoga has upon the body and mind has been shown to help promote better, longer, and most restful sleep.
- Mindfulness: The focus that yoga places onto remaining aware of the body within the context of each moment and breath helps to cultivate a state of mindfulness that can be incredibly beneficial for the mental wellbeing of seniors. Learning to be mindful while practicing yoga can help seniors become more able to feel present and connected to themselves within each moment throughout the rest of their day.
- Stress Reduction: Taking part in the practice of yoga is a gentle and calming activity that is meant to be restorative and to connect the body and mind. Seniors often have a lot of stress in their lives because of the many changes they are experiencing in older age, and all the challenges that come as a result. Yoga can help to calm and quiet the mind in the moment but can also help to reduce overall anxiety and stress when practiced consistently over time.
Practicing yoga can help seniors to create social opportunities, incorporate physical exercise, build a sense of connectedness, and become empowered in both mind and body. Many yoga studios have classes specifically designed for seniors, but practicing yoga can also be an activity that takes place within the home for seniors who aren’t interested in joining a group or class. Do some research about the options available in your area of Edmonton and consider integrating yoga into the weekly routine to reap all of the benefits it has to offer.
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