Yoga is a wonderful practice that directs attention and connects the body, mind, and spirit in purposeful ways that can create positive outcomes for seniors.
For seniors who are getting more comfortable in the new stage of life that comes in older age, practicing Yoga can present the opportunity to take part in a mild form of physical activity, that also offers a unique setting in which seniors can take care of themselves and work on cultivating a deeper understanding of themselves, their bodies, and how they connect to things around them. Seniors can reap a whole host of valuable benefits from taking part in the practice of Yoga, so it is worth exploring the options that are accessible in the Ottawa area and learning more about what Yoga can do for seniors and their overall state of wellbeing.
The value, appreciation, and emphasis that Yoga puts upon the important connection that exists between body and mind allows seniors who practice Yoga to experience benefits that can improve their mental, physical, and spiritual health. The following are just some ways in which seniors can benefit Yoga:
- Stress Reduction: Yoga is a gentle and calming activity that is intended to be restorative as it works to connect body and mind. Seniors often have a great deal of stress in their lives because of the many changes they are experiencing in older age, and all the worries 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.
- Mindfulness: The focus that Yoga places on the concept of remaining aware of the body within the context of each moment and breath helps to cultivate a state of mindfulness that can be deeply 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.
- Improved Sleep: The calming effect that Yoga can have on the body and mind has been shown to help promote better, longer, and most rejuvenating sleep.
- Flexibility: Many seniors encounter 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.
- Confidence: Building a stronger connection to the body and learning new Yoga poses can help seniors to cultivate a greater sense of confidence in themselves both physically and mentally. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Balance and Stability: Many of the poses and movements involved in Yoga involve some degree of balance and stability. Practicing Yoga on a regular 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.
Engaging in the restorative practice of Yoga can help seniors to have more social opportunities, incorporate physical movement and exercise, build a sense of connectedness, and feel more empowered in both mind and body. Many Yoga studios offer classes expressly tailored for seniors, but practicing Yoga can also be an activity that takes place at home for seniors who don’t have an interest in joining a group or class with other people. Look through the options available in your area of Ottawa and consider integrating Yoga into the routine to explore its benefits.