The human body is mysterious yet beautiful. It develops through the years, not only physically but also mentally. One should remember to keep these on track and train both from time to time. When discussing yoga and its benefits, one cannot forget the peace and calmness it induces in the body.
Undoubtedly, other physical activities may become difficult to manage with age. But yoga is an easier and hassle-free practice that anyone can focus on. If you’re curious about how this technique helps aging adults, you’ve come to the perfect place.
Yoga, Asanas, and Its Effects on Seniors over 65 Years of Age
As people age, managing health and adding exercises to the daily routine becomes more important. This not only helps to continue living a healthy lifestyle but also helps in bringing a sense of independence.
Better Sleeping Patterns
Several studies performed on humans reveal that sleep needs vary and depend on genetics. Most adults fit in the category of seven to nine hours. Yoga helps manage sleeping patterns and balances melatonin levels in the body responsible for circadian rhythms.
Moreover, better sleep leads to increased memory function and tissue/muscle recovery. Since yoga is relaxing and has meditative effects, it might result in a better sleeping pattern for older adults. Wide-knee child’s pose, reclining butterfly, and reclining bound angle can help one sleep better.
Improved Mental Health
Another important aspect for older adults is their mental health. Yoga undoubtedly lessens the risk of depression in humans and improves overall well-being. When practiced with a group, it also helps to build a social circle.
Low-impact yoga exercises reflect decreased levels of stress-related hormones. On the other hand, practicing yoga also increases endorphin and GABA chemical release, which helps to manage anxiety. Endorphin and GABA are neurotransmission signalling chemicals in the brain. Legs up the wall pose, forward bent pose, and bridge pose are some poses one can try to calm the mind.
Osteoporosis or Osteopenia is a common bone problem that one can face through aging. In this, bone density tends to increase or decrease and is prone to fractures.
Yoga can help you manage these conditions since most weight-related asanas help strengthen bones. Tree pose, warrior II, high plank pose, and downward facing dog are some of the bone-strengthening poses that you can include in your daily practice.
Strengthens Nervous System
Nerve issues tend to increase with age, and basic motor movements are also affected when these are injured or damaged. These issues can lead to pain, weakness, cramping, and many more issues. Yoga helps to improve circulation, movement, and flexibility altogether.
‘The child’s pose helps to manage the peripheral nervous system and helps to ground the body. Corpse pose, Viparita Karani (legs-up-the-wall), and Baddha Konasana (butterfly pose) can help manage the nervous system effectively.
A human boy goes through various changes throughout their life. Due to the urban lifestyle that has been prevalent over the years, hormones are often imbalanced. The thyroid gland’s and other endocrine systems’ performance can be enhanced and regulated with yoga positions.
A recent study backs up this data and states that 12 weeks of yoga-based training significantly increased Growth Hormone and DHEA-S in males and females. Moreover, PCOS is a condition that leads to irregular periods and occasional weight gain, along with insulin resistance. It has also been noticed that yoga is beneficial for menopausal women.
Regulates Blood Pressure
The practice of Iyengar yoga is widely adopted to manage blood pressure-related problems. This type of yoga undoubtedly helps to reduce hypertension and stress. It is noted that 12 weeks of Iyengar yoga can help improve blood pressure and delay the need for drug treatment in some people.
The Cobra Pose is among the most fruitful yoga poses for controlling blood pressure. Another great yoga pose that can control blood pressure is the Half Camel Pose. This pose helps to stimulate the liver and kidney function, which in turn helps to regulate blood pressure.
This lung disease is widely present in all age groups. Yoga not only helps the younger age group manage asthma but also helps older people. Although yoga is a complementary therapy for asthma, it’s also not a first-line treatment.
Certain yoga poses and techniques can help manage the symptoms that come with asthma, such as reducing stress levels and opening the chest. Deep breathing, supine spinal twists, cat-cow, low lunge, and others can be included in yoga sessions to manage asthma.
As humans age, it becomes common to feel bored more easily. Yoga is proven to have constructive effects on mental and physical well-being and can also aid in fighting boredom. It can also provide a sense of belonging and community and a way to stay active and engaged.
It can also help increase our focus and concentration, which can be helpful when we’re feeling bored. This exercise can be performed alone or in a group setting, which can help one engage with others.
The stretching exercises that yoga involves have shown to be beneficial in helping to decrease stiffness in the body. Muscle rigidity and stiffness is a common issue among older adults. Regular practice of yoga helps to stretch and lengthen the muscles.
This stretching practice in yoga can be performed with or without stretching bands. It also helps to improve blood circulation and increase flexibility, which can also help decrease stiffness.
Yoga has so many benefits and can be practiced by anyone easily. It is never too late to start practicing yoga; older adults can reap many benefits from its regular practice. If one is beginning to practice yoga, it is recommend checking out a taking a beginner’s class to get started. And remember, do not go overboard. Ask your doctor for advice, and just do what feels comfortable!