Gentle Yoga & Meditation Benefits for Seniors

Senior doing yogaIt’s widely accepted that routine physical activity can prevent disease, injury and obesity. Likewise, brain exercises help to keep the mind sharp and fend off depression. Yet, as we age, modifications to our exercise routine become inevitable. Luckily, gentle yoga and meditation provides seniors with all the mind-body benefits they need, using low-impact movements and techniques.

Here are just a few of the many gentle yoga & meditation benefits for seniors.

Improves Balance & Stability

As we age, our stability can be compromised, putting us at increased risk for falls. Many yoga poses focus on balance and posture, strengthening the core muscles and providing added stability. Not only does yoga help prevent falls, but the increased strength often minimizes injuries if a fall occurs.

Increases Flexibility

Tightness in the body can cause joints to feel stiff and achy, and lack of flexibility can make daily activities, such as tying your shoes, difficult. The simple stretching techniques found in gentle yoga can help loosen muscles, easing discomfort and pain, and providing freedom of movement.

Strengthens Bones

People over the age of 50 are at greater risk for osteoporosis and low bone density, however, studies have consistently shown that weight-bearing activities, such as gentle yoga, can help slow bone thinning and help manage osteoarthritis, particularly in postmenopausal woman.

Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

The connection between yoga, meditation and heart health is widely accepted in the medical community, largely because of the proven effects of yoga and meditation to reduce stress levels and hypertension. The gentle poses, meditation and controlled breathing are believed to decrease nervous system activity, thereby managing blood pressure levels and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks in seniors.

Improves Respiratory Function

Many seniors experience respiratory limitations and reduced levels of oxygen, which can have negative effects on the mind and body. The breathing techniques used in gentle yoga and meditation can help improve lung health and respiration. In fact, a recent study indicates that 12-weeks of yoga practice can significantly improve respiratory function in elderly women.

Reduces Anxiety & Depression

Feelings of anxiety and depression are not uncommon as we age. Gentle yoga and meditation focus on breath and slow movements, creating a calm and restorative environment that helps to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. In addition, yoga encourages mindfulness, which can help improve self-esteem, lift depression, and help seniors feel more connected to the community and world around them.

Gentle Yoga & Meditation for Seniors in the Albany NY Area

Looking for an assisted living or independent living community with gentle yoga and meditation classes? The Eddy Senior Living Communities in Troy, Slingerlands, Niskayuna, Queensbury and East Greenbush have implemented the EmpowerU wellness program to help seniors stay fit and healthy. Regularly scheduled classes include gentle yoga and meditation, balance, strength training, water aerobics, line dancing and more.

To find out if a gentle yoga and meditation class is right for you, talk to you doctor. For more information about our senior living communities, contact an Eddy Senior Living Specialist.