Yoga for senior citizens is more popular as our senior population grows in the United States. Yoga is gentle exercise that will help keep your body healthy as you age.
Our guest today is Karen Coupland. Karen is a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and loves teaching all levels and all ages of students. She’s been teaching yoga since 1999, including Gentle Yoga classes. She also enjoys writing about yoga at Wizzley. You can read more at Yoga for Seniors — Aging Well With Yoga. Thank you, Karen!
You’ve heard the old adage “use it or lose it”. The practice of yoga postures is a good way for us to safely and effectively use our bodies to maintain more of our strength, flexibility, and overall sense of well-being as we grow older.
Why Practice Yoga for Senior Citizens?
I’ve been teaching yoga for a number of years now, and more and more of my clientele are from the baby boomer and older generations. They’re my most dedicated group of yoga students partly because they’ve experienced how much better they feel physically and mentally from practicing yoga. They’ve also experienced that when they miss a few classes, they feel stiffer and achier.
The three most common benefits from yoga that I hear about from this group of students are:
Less pain from arthritis (and more mobility in arthritic joints)
Less back pain
They just FEEL better overall
Yoga senior beginners also enjoy:
Less problems with menopausal / post-menopausal symptoms
Stronger bones (better bone density scans)
Increased mental sharpness
They also like the social aspect of practicing yoga together with other like-minded people with similar goals and issues.
Is Yoga for Seniors Citizens Safe for You to Try?
If you already practice yoga you’ve probably experienced many of these benefits. If you haven’t tried yoga, maybe you’re thinking, “Oh, that’s not for me. I’m too stiff / weak / old to practice yoga. I’d hurt myself in those pretzel poses!”
BUT….no one is too stiff, too weak, or too old to practice yoga! The trick is to find a yoga senior beginners class or program that is appropriate for your particular fitness and interest level. If you’re age 55 and over, and just starting yoga, you probably wouldn’t enjoy a class that caters mostly to 20 and 30 year-olds.
Check out what types of yoga classes are in your area that are designed for the “more mature” body. Look for classes with names such as “Yoga for Seniors”, “Ageless Yoga”, or “Gentle Yoga” or “Yoga for Senior Citizens”. Your local YMCA or Community Rec & Ed program may offer these kinds of yoga classes. Some hospitals have wellness programs that include gentle yoga classes too. You might find a class right away that is perfect for you. If the class is too difficult, or on the other hand, too easy or slow for you, look for another class.
If after trying yoga for awhile, and it just doesn’t suit you, still keep moving! Find another type of exercise that you enjoy. You’ll feel better for doing it!
Yoga For Senior Citizens on DVDs