Even if you’re not enthusiastic about conventional exercise, yoga might be a fun and easy practice. You can do it sitting down if you need to, which is a great option for the elderly. Yoga has long been known as a gentle yet excellent way to achieve balance, breath, flexibility and strength.
In a nutshell, yoga can be excellent for seniors who want to retain their physical flexibility and get the healing benefits of this exercise. However, this doesn’t mean that anyone can just look up a whole bunch of yoga exercises to do – you really need an instructor to learn correctly. If you’re looking towards yoga for seniors, it’s even more important to have proper guidance.
If you want to try yoga at home rather than take a class, there are several resources available. Let’s talks a bit about the basics of yoga for seniors and then move on to the tools that can help us out:
Why Yoga for Seniors?
We all know the importance of staying as fit as we can while aging. Yoga for the elderly and seniors is an ideal way to accomplish this – you can modify it according to your needs and limitations. If you are also going through something stressful, even traumatic, yoga has the added benefit of being calming and relaxing.
A Good Teacher For Seniors
A class in yoga for seniors may be presented a bit differently than for say, the twenty-something age group. The instructor should be certified and aware of the limitations and challenges the aging are faced with – such as arthritis and osteoporosis issues; problems with the spine and various joints, particularly knees and shoulders; difficulty in bending and twisting, and sometimes an inability to get down on the floor.
Based on the data from the Centers For Disease Control about the importance of exercise, the routines included in yoga for elderly folks and seniors are especially beneficial for flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. All of these can help to reduce falls in elderly.
People of all ages also find yoga excellent for improving sleep, and definitely for easing up those annoying restless leg syndrome symptoms. This is because the different positions get your energy flowing, especially to the brain. One wonderful side effect of this is a lift in your mood — especially when you participate in a class with other people or with your friends. In the latter case, you have the added benefit of socializing. Since elderly folks also face isolation and loneliness, joining a yoga class can be helpful in this aspect as well.
About Classes For Seniors
Yoga for seniors has become quite mainstream now, and almost every town and city seems to have a yoga studio or class. Most senior centers, even senior living campuses, have yoga classes as well. Many studios will also come to your group if you have enough people interested in attending along with a commitment for a several-week period.
You might even be able to find yoga classes for the elderly in which most of the participants are using walkers or are in wheelchairs; yet all successfully participate. Yoga for seniors who are more limber will most likely entail stretches and routines on floor mats though.
When considering a yoga class, it is essential that you know your limitations and plug into a class at your ability level. Plus, the sessions should be taught by someone who is familiar with the age group in question.
Have you ever felt so tired or unmotivated that you just couldn’t get yourself out, especially not to a class, much less do the exercises? Fortunately, the movements used in yoga for seniors are so easy and flexible that you can even do them in your chair. Start with just a little bit at a time if you want. As you build up your stamina you can go for a few more minutes, and then even loner.
You still might not feel like getting up and going out to a class (especially in the cold weather), but you’ll have a fun and manageable way to get your exercise in every day. Here are some other ideas for fun elderly activities to make your everyday life more interesting.
If you’ve made up your mind to start yoga at home, here are a few resources to get you started:
If you do not have, or cannot get, a yoga instructor to come to your group or facility (or if you need or want to exercise at home), then there is an easy way for any activity director (or you) to launch a little yoga class him/herself. You can start by learning from an excellent DVD by Peggy Cappy called “Yoga For The Rest Of Us,” as well as “Easy Yoga For Arthritis.
Doing yoga might be one of the best tips for healthy aging, so don’t miss out on these easy sessions.
If you didn’t have access to your own instructor before – you do now. It’s that easy to follow. There’s also a video especially for those who suffer from arthritis, so there’s little excuse to shun yoga at this point.
Many users of this DVD have noticed that their energy levels and overall flexibility have greatly improved. It’s also useful for regaining balance, increasing confidence, and sleeping better.
As with all exercise for seniors, if you have concerns you should check with your medical professional first. After beginning your class or program, if you feel pain or unusual discomfort, then stop. Check in with your doctor again and see if you should continue with the sessions.
While there are plenty of chair exercises for senior citizens, reading up on chair yoga is worth the extra effort. Aging folks are usually at risk of falling, so doing yoga while seated could be the perfect solution. This way, anyone can benefit from a yoga exercise program and not be afraid of falling.
In this book, a registered yoga instructor and practitioner gives us easy yoga positions plus stretches that we can do while sitting down. The pages here also outline all the benefits we get by practicing yoga on a daily basis. Other exercises are also included, including full-body warm ups, joint rolls, cool downs, etc.
If a person is recovering from an injury, this work will also come in handy if they want to stay active and fit. The information here is broken down into easily read pieces, with pictures of actual people doing the exercise as well as a text description of each position. There are no small, confusing drawings to make things difficult, so any elderly person should be able to benefit from this book.
This is a DVD that can help elderly folks maintain their balance better. Most senior citizens have to rely on their walking cane or stick in order to get around, but they might be able to get better balance on their own with the right exercises.
Many report that using the exercises on this DVD has led to decrease in back pain and a significant improvement in picture. It might be more difficult to tell whether a senior has more endurance as a result of these yoga sessions, though.
The key to getting the most benefit from this DVD is to start small and work your way up. Don’t worry if it takes some time to complete 12 minutes of yoga. It could take even longer to complete the whole 36 minutes of each session. Since these are elderly people using the exercises, it’s imperative that they have a sturdy balancing item on hand, such as a large armchair or balance beam. It’s great if a younger person joins in; they can practice without the support and gain many health benefits along with supporting their loved one.
Balance & Strength Exercises for Seniors: 9 Practices, with Traditional Exercises, and Modified Tai Chi, Yoga & Dance Based Movements by Jane Adams (Actor)
With this DVD, we get instructions on how to improve our fitness, strength, and balance along with a beautiful view of the Glacier National Park. There are nine practice sessions here, ranging from 8 to 31 minutes each. The practices are based on traditional yoga exercises plus tai chi based movements.
The modified practices here are especially developed for improving balance and other health aspects of older adults. All the movements have instructions and demos that are easy to follow. However, most of the practices are also based on standing positions, so make sure you’re able to follow those before getting this DVD. With the expert Jane Adams instructing, many seniors are sure to get a stronger body and better balance than before. This could help them lead more independent lives and feel more confident in their bodies.
Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff are the instructors in this DVD. Basically, this option offers seniors some simple and safe yoga exercises for daily use. It’s based on the Yoga for Seniors teaching training that’s offered at many institutes today.
The instructors of this DVD have vast experience within medical settings and the health issues of older people. Both are also yoga therapists and well-versed in modern research on yoga, meditation, and how they can help to alleviate body pain. This experience has shaped how they approach yoga and convert it into enjoyable yet safe practices that everyone can follow.
The highlights here include four main practices according to various levels of mobility, three special practices for building stability and strength, exercises to improve balance, a presentation on safety guidelines and the option to have English subtitles in large text. All of these features are geared towards making the yoga sessions easy, fun, and useful for most seniors.
With so many resources to choose from, it’s evident that yoga for seniors isn’t as challenging as it might seem. If you or a loved one are considering getting into the habit of daily yoga, get one of the books or DVDs above. These options aren’t too expensive, and the investment will probably work to get everyone motivated.
From the reviews and feedback on these yoga resources, we’re also clear on the fact that yoga for seniors really does help them. Seniors have got enough to contend with due to body pain, limited mobility, and sleeping issues. Yoga just might be the answer to all these problems, so it’s best to take a few initial steps right away.