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Why Every Senior Should Be Doing Yoga, and How You Can Get Started Today

By Harry Cline

You might hear the word yoga and think, “Isn’t that for young people?” Well, not necessarily. Yoga is a form of meditation and exercise that has been practiced in large for the last 5,000 years. Nowadays, thanks to technological advancements such as video and the internet, more and more people are getting into yoga than ever before. If you are still not convinced, here are a few ways yoga can benefit seniors and their caregivers.

The Physical Benefits of Yoga

Seniors will find that yoga can be an extremely beneficial exercise for old bones. Yoga is low impact, meaning it doesn’t put a lot of stress on your muscles and joints compared to other exercises such as running or weight training. Yoga consists of a series of poses that work different muscle groups. Each pose has a beginning level, meaning that you don’t need to know a lot to get started.

After your first session of yoga, you’ll notice that you are primarily working your core, as well as your flexibility. The stretches you’ll do while moving into and out of poses will strengthen your joints over time and make it easier to do daily tasks. Greater flexibility also lessens the chance of greatly injuring yourself if you happen to slip or fall. Having better flexibility and stronger joints are essential for older adults wishing to live a healthy, active, and less stressful lifestyle.

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The Mental Benefits of Yoga

Many of those who haven’t tried yoga, are unaware that yoga benefits the mind just as much as it benefits the body. Yoga leans heavily on meditation in its practice and calls open participants to reach deep within themselves to find balance beyond the physical plane. In a way, it’s an exercise of self, as opposed to just an exercise of the body.

Positive benefits of yoga include a mind that is refreshed and rejuvenated, clear from distractions and clutter. For seniors, this can mean a mind with better focus, a sharper memory, and a more instant recall. This mental exercise can also do wonders for any stress or anxiety that you feel building up inside, allowing you to push it to the side and find peace in your daily life once more. Finally, yoga can help battle the symptoms of depression, which has been linked to a number of physical ailments, including oral health conditions and chronic pain. So, if you suffer from depression or anxiety, and it’s been a while since you’ve had a checkup, then it’s important to find a dentist in your area and schedule an appoint ASAP!

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Finding Deeper Meaning

Yoga pushes us to reunite with our spiritual and physical selves. For those of us who struggle with depression, it’s just as important to have a good relationship with the physical self as it is with the spiritual self. That’s why yoga has been the crux to healing the wounds and divisions created by depression, enabling those in recovery to get their lives back on track.

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How to Get Started

Now that you know all the ways yoga can benefit you, you’re probably wondering how to get started. The answer is easier than you might think, thanks to the many instructional videos for yoga available on DVD and online. With a few clicks, you can find a yoga video to help you learn the fundamentals and get you started on the path toward a healthier and happier life. Besides that, all you need are some comfortable clothes, a mat, and a calm, quiet place to practice. The best part is that yoga can be practiced just about anywhere, making it a good indoor activity when the weather is nasty, you can’t get to the gym, or you just need a quick session in the comfort of your home to relax and de-stress.

If you haven’t tried rolling out the mat and working through your first pose, now is the right time. Yoga is a great exercise to do on your own, but it can become an even better experience when done with others. Get your family, friends, or even your caretaker involved in the yoga session. Through doing these exercises together, you will strengthen your external relationships and add more rewards to the riches that yoga already offers your mind, body, and spirituality.

Cover Photo Credit: Pixabay

Other photos added by Jennifer Grace

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Many thanks to contributing writer:

Harry Cline |info@newcaregiver.org

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