We provide health camps specially designed to address the needs, interests and concerns of seniors and late beginners on the path of Yoga. Our team of experienced yoga teachers and doctors sensitively guide, inspire and encourage elders and equip them with useful Yogic tools and practices while educating them on health and old age management.
Yoga For Seniors: Getting Started
Yoga can bring immense benefits for the mind and body, and one is never too old to reap those rewards. Our physical health and wellness tend to decline with age. Yoga offers the perfect solution for the elderly who are looking to improve their overall well-being with safe and effective practices. The breathing, meditation and stretching exercises in yoga offer a host of benefits to older adults, such as an improved sense of balance, flexibility, sleep, etc. Therefore, yoga for senior citizens is becoming increasingly popular among families.
Govardhan Ecovillage offers several best practices of yoga for the elderly including the popular discipline of chair yoga. Also called desktop yoga poses, the asanas of chair yoga can be conveniently done while sitting on a chair. Some of them include seated forward bend, neck roll, eagle arms, cow stretch, seated spinal twist, and temple rub. Our expert yoga teachers and instructors will explain the types of yoga, basic poses and things to do before starting any yoga routine as well as share tips to find the appropriate classes.
Benefits of Yoga for the Elderly
Yoga nurtures the mind-body connection and improves mental and spiritual health. Although it has a spiritual aspect, yoga is not a religious practice. People from different faiths and belief systems participate in yoga to reap its benefits. Moreover, yoga doesn’t put stress on the joints like other physical activities, such as weightlifting or jogging, and can be started at any age. The poses or asanas in yoga can be modified to suit the individual requirements making it safe for people with all fitness and ability levels.
Some of the benefits of yoga for senior citizens are as follows:
- Improves balance and makes them steady on their feet: The yoga poses for seniors help to strengthen their core and abdominal muscles. As a result, they gain better stability and control of their body reducing their risk of falls.
- Enhanced breathing capacity and respiratory health: Elderly people who practice breathing control or pranayama in yoga have been seen to have a significant improvement in their lung capacity and pulmonary health.
- Increases flexibility: Yoga postures and movements involves stretching exercises which is beneficial for seniors. Holding and releasing a pose in rhythm with their breathing relaxes their muscles and connective tissues thereby increasing their flexibility and range of motion.
- Stronger bones: As we age, the risk of brittle bones and osteoporosis increases. A consistent routine for yoga for seniors involving weight-bearing postures can go a long way in improving bone strength and density.
- Reduces anxiety and stress: Yoga practices encompass meditation and mindful breathing, which help a person fix their mind on the present and find a sense of peace. This also lowers their cortisol levels and reduces anxiety and stress.
- Better sleep: Insomnia and disturbed sleep are common complaints among people over the age of 60. Regular participation in yoga classes for senior citizens can help to promote restful sleep and improve the duration and quality of sleep.
- Asana and pranayama sessions
- Motivational talks
- Ayurveda centre tour
- Health management seminars
- Yoga nidra- relaxation therapy
- Yoga therapy- miracle cow
Yoga for Seniors: Your Questions Answered
Q. Can people above the age of 60 do yoga asanas?
A. Yes, seniors can do yoga asanas. According to ancient sages, yoga means to unite. It is the study of life as well as your inner faculties. The inner faculties involve your body, mind, ego, memory, intellect, and even your breath. That is why people of all ages and walks of life can practice yoga and enjoy the various benefits it offers.
Q. Is there any easy yoga asana that senior beginners can try?
A. Yes, there is a yoga asana for senior beginners called Sukshma yoga. It can be practised independently and as a part of the yoga plan. This yoga involves simple exercises for the eyes, hands, necks, and jaws. It takes only a few minutes and can be practised by people of any age group.
Q. How should seniors perform yoga asanas?
A. As per the sages, yoga can be also defined as Sthira Sukham Asana. It means an asana constitutes comfort and stability. So, anyone performing yoga, be it a younger or elderly person, needs to be aware of their posture. As long as the posture is stable and comfortable, there will be no harm.
Q. What is the difference between general yoga and yoga for seniors?
A. The types of yoga asanas suggested to the younger and elders can be the same. However, the only difference can be the time, effort, flexibility involved in a posture. People with lower endurance levels are advised not to perform asanas involving abdominal and cardiovascular movements.
Q. Can seniors benefit from chair yoga?
A. Yes, chair yoga can offer numerous health benefits to seniors. This yoga is performed by staying seated, thereby eliminating your safety concerns. It means that even seniors who are not flexible can practice it. It is a great yoga that can help older adults to improve blood circulation, reduce stress, and stretch and relax painful muscles.
Are there any safety measures for seniors to follow while practising yoga?
Seniors can follow a few safety measures like:
- Taking adequate rest after each pose
- Switching warm-ups with joint movements and brisk walking
- Practicing yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga instructor
- Letting the yoga instructor know in case of any ailments
- Focusing on repeating poses instead of holding a posture for long
- Adjusting the body to a daily yoga routine before trying out new asanas