Yoga and Aging

Creative Commons License photo credit: Saad.Akhtar

This is a guest post from Shirley at LifeByDesignOver50.com. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the benefits of yoga as we age.

The aging process is something that we cannot avoid but how we take care of ourselves now will make a big difference to the quality of our life later. As we age, one of the biggest differences we notice is to our agility. We generally start to feel more stiff and sore, arthritis is more prevalent as are other issues that can stress our joints and muscles. We need to stay active and keep our bodies as supple and agile as possible.  A great way to do this is through yoga.

No matter how active we have been previously, there comes a time when we need milder forms of exercise such as walking and yoga. Yoga offers exercises to strengthen the spine and improve joint health by circulating synovial fluid. Also as we age there is a greater risk of osteoporosis. Studies have shown that yoga poses stress the bones in a healthy way stimulating bone growth. While the yoga postures themselves are very beneficial, the breathing exercises and relaxation are also very important. They can help with digestion, reduce feelings of stress, normalize blood pressure and help us reach a state of inner peace. (Editor’s note: For more on the benefits of yoga as we age, see Yoga for Seniors and Asthanga for Aging)

The yoga poses that will be best for you depends upon age, abilities and overall health. Some yoga poses can be quite challenging so it’s a very good idea to work with someone that can assist you in finding the best yoga poses for you and help you do them properly and safely. If you injure yourself you will probably be out of commission for awhile and unable to practice your yoga moves until you heal. It could well put you off doing any form of exercise.

Yoga is a favourite pastime for many people and can complement other forms of exercise. Some of the most enjoyable activities are related to our hobbies. It’s nice to have a hobby that we can practice well into our retirement years. Golf is a perfect example of this. If you leave the motorised golf carts parked, it is a great way to get your walking in, enjoy fresh air and also get together with friends. And even when you don’t get out on the golf range, you can still practice with your golf swing training aid by Medicus in your own back yard or on your deck. Your golf game will be more enjoyable if you are fit and agile.

If you are practicing yoga at home it helps to create a space that enhances your experience. It is ideal to be looking out over the ocean or have some other peaceful view of nature. This isn’t possible for everyone so it’s important to create the best environment that you can.  One of the nicest home spaces I have seen designed specifically for yoga, relaxation, and meditation includes a big window looking over the garden area that has backyard water fountains. You may want an indoor water featture, wind chimes, floor cushions, crystals, candles or any other items that symbolize peace and tranquility to you.

Regardless of age, yoga is a very beneficial practice. If you have never done it before find, a program that is right for you and your body and mind will thank you!

About the Author

Shirley Price resides in a picturesque community of Vancouver, BC, Canada.  Shirley is a mother and grandmother. She moved to Canada from the UK over 20 years ago. Shirley is the author of a social website for over 50’s  LifeByDesignOver50.com

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