The benefits of yoga for the elderly
Yoga is a highly beneficial activity for the elderly. It is a holistic practice that combines physical poses with mindfulness, breathing and meditation. Research shows a positive correlation with both physical and mental wellness, especially in older people.
The regular practice of yoga can be very helpful to enable elderly people to have a higher quality of life in their later years. The use of props – such as chairs, blankets, bolsters, straps and the wall – means that the age of the student when they start is in inconsequential. Practice is flexible and allows for postures to be modified and supported as needed.
Some evidence suggests yoga is especially useful for the ageing process in particular:
- loss of muscle and skeletal tissue
- keeping the body open and flexible
- preventing the rounding of the spine
- treating and preventing back and neck problems
- preventing osteoporosis
- maintaining healthy joints
- preventing heart disease.
Other studies show regular practice may help:
- Increase strength, flexibility and endurance
- Decrease risk of cardiovascular disease
- Recovery from stroke and surgery
- Prevent falls
- Manage arthritis, pain and inflammation
- Manage diabetes
- Manage digestive illness
- Improve sleep quality
- Facilitate the grieving process
- Manage anxiety and depression
- Increase a sense of wellbeing
The aging process usually sees our bodies begin to stiffen and become rigid. Your posture can often begin to close down and forward which results in the body losing height, strength and flexibility. However, yoga practice can help the body to remain open and flexible.
Southcare Social Centre regularly holds chair yoga classes for our customers to book and attend. These sessions are only available to Southcare customers and can be organised by contacting the Southcare Social Centre on 9450 6233.