Am I Too Old For Yoga? Learn About Seniors and Yoga

seniors and yoga

In short, no. Seniors and yoga go together like peanut butter and jelly. You are not too old to do yoga in your 50s, 60s and even 70s! After eating, probably way too much, at Thanksgiving give your health a re-boot with some yoga!

AARP has written a great article detailing the benefits of practicing yoga well into your senior years that we will outline below. Please go here to see the complete article and guide to the benefits of yoga.

Take a look at these simple poses to help you stop stress, boost bone health and lose weight.

3 Reasons To Practice Yoga in Your 50s

1. Minimize hypertension
“Yoga has a powerful effect on stress and hypertension and can help people reduce the amount of medication they need,” says a yoga professor at CSUSB. According to one recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension, participants who practiced yoga six hours a week for 11 weeks reduced their systolic blood pressure — the top number — by an impressive 33 points, compared with 4 points for a control group. Researchers speculate that the slow, controlled breathing inherent in yoga practice decreases nervous system activity, which helps manage blood pressure levels.

2. Strengthen bones
“People in their 50s often develop the beginning stages of osteoporosis and low bone density,” notes Melinda Atkins, a yoga teacher in Miami. Studies consistently show that the weight-bearing activity of yoga helps slow bone thinning, reducing the risks of osteoporosis, particularly among postmenopausal women.

3. Keep excess pounds at bay
Yoga enhances concentration and determination in all aspects of life. Practicing it every day “improves willpower and shifts your focus toward wellness rather than instant gratification,” says Larry Payne, yoga director at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Poses to do in your 50s:

seniors and yoga


seniors and yoga

3 Reasons To Practice Yoga in Your 60s

1. Reduce anxiety
Yoga induces the relaxation response, an alpha state between awake and asleep that helps modulate the way the body responds to stress. When faced with a potential threat (or ongoing stress), your heart beats faster, your muscles tense and you start to sweat. Yoga stops this process in its tracks, reducing your heart rate, lowering blood pressure and easing respiration.

2. Protect your joints
During your late 50s and early 60s, you may begin to notice that your joints aren’t as fluid as they used to be. Practicing yoga regularly can help lubricate joints, staving off debilitating disorders like carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis. “It’s important to start caring for your joints, to help maintain your independence and preserve your ability to perform daily activities as you get older — things like brushing your teeth, combing your hair, getting dressed,” says Amy Wheeler, yoga professor at California State University at San Bernardino.

3. Build strength and balance
Yoga’s slow, measured movements and strengthening poses can help you achieve better balance and prevent falls as you age. Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults; every year, one in three adults 65 or older falls. Yoga gives you the tools now to prevent a bad fall so you can still move around in your 80s.

Poses to do in your 60s:

seniors and yoga


seniors and yoga

3 Reasons To Practice Yoga in Your 70s

1. Improve balance
Yoga tones muscles and works on your proprioception — your sense of position in space. Practicing postures that emphasize standing and balance can help build strength and confidence, too. “About 80 percent of proprioception is in your ankles, so standing poses are important, particularly for people in their 70s,” explains Larry Payne, yoga director at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. “As you get more sedentary, your sense of balance atrophies. ‘Use it or lose it’ really does apply.”

2. Sharpens your mind
Unfortunately, as we age, our thought processes aren’t as sharp as they once were. “Focusing on the breath and synchronizing it with movement helps keep the mind clear and engaged,” says Melinda Atkins, a yoga teacher in Miami. Breathing exercises such as alternate-nostril breathing help harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of the personality.

3. Boosts mood
Yoga’s combination of breathing, meditation and movement creates an overall sense of well-being. In fact, studies show yoga has a greater impact on enhancing mood and reducing anxiety than other forms of exercise. The reason? Yoga boosts levels of the brain chemical GABA, which helps calm nerves.

Poses to do in your 70s:

seniors and yoga


seniors and yoga
Always be sure to check with your doctor, but yoga may be a great way for you to stay active and keep a healthy lifestyle!

Full article here.