5 Health Benefits of Yoga for Elder You Need to Know

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After previously learning about the benefits of exercise for kids, we can agree that daily exercise is always needed, not only for us adults, but all ages in general. The kids may gain some benefits for such a simple activity, like making them smarter, burning calories, and making the body healthier than before.

But aside from exercise, one can actually gain some benefits for another simpler form of sport, Yoga. Yoga is a science that explains the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of humans to achieve a holistic health system which is formed from ancient Indian culture. Yoga was first introduced in the Yoga Sutras book written by patanjali, a legend from India who lived around 200 to 500 BC.

The term “Yoga” comes from the ancient Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means union. Yoga has three different meanings, namely: Absorption (yujyate), Connected (yunakti), and Control (yojyanti). However, the key meanings commonly used are meditation (dhyana) and unification (yukti).

The goal of Yoga is to expand human consciousness to such an extent that it can be equated with the consciousness of the universe. This has to be achieved by realizing the spiritual principles in our body, there are physical and mental principles, actually constituting our own eternal and true personality.

Even though you are already in old age, it doesn’t mean you have to lose your enthusiasm, give up, and get sick. Don’t be lazy, the elderly still have to exercise.

Try practicing yoga, because it has great benefits to help your elderly be healthier. Besides that, it also maintains the balance of the elderly’s body, and builds strength through flowing low-impact movements.

Yoga is very good for exercising flexibility and balance.  Elderly who regularly practice yoga will have a lower risk of falling. This is different from the benefits of brisk walking, so if you want to get started, make sure to practice yoga with a competent instructor – not through video tutorials on YouTube or anything like it – to reduce the risk of injury. Invite friends or other family members to be more excited.

Yoga for Elderly

Generally, yoga can be practiced safely by the elderly. However, there are several things that need attention. The elderly must really understand the condition and needs of their bodies.

For example, if you suffer from arthritis, limited mobility, or other health conditions, there are modifications to each yoga pose to accommodate the physical needs of each individual.

The type of yoga that is right for the elderly depends on several things like age, fitness level, and physical abilities. If you are exercising for the first time (after a long absence) or have lost muscle tone and flexibility, it is recommended that you practice Hatha yoga.

If you can’t find a yoga class for seniors, you can choose a beginner class. Apart from Hatha, Iyengar yoga is also good for the elderly because it emphasizes body posture through the use of props. Other options are Viniyoga and Kripalu yoga.

There are some benefits Yoga can offer for both mind and body, including :

Health Benefits of Yoga for Elder

1. Increasing Confidence

Practicing yoga can improve posture and help elderly people with arthritis to expand their range of motion. In addition, several studies have found that various yoga practices can increase self-confidence, so that the elderly will be free from anxiety disorders and depression.

Maintaining a good confidence may well end in a better quality of life. So it’s an important aspect of living.

2. Restoring Emotional Happiness

Aside from the benefits of gardening, doing Yoga can actually increase happiness. A 2017 study published in the medical journal “International Psychogeriatrics” conducted a study on older adult participants (over 55 years) with mild cognitive impairment.

They then divided into two groups and spent 12 weeks practicing Kundalini yoga. As a result, both groups showed increased memory. However, the group doing more yoga showed improved brain executive function and emotional resilience. According to researchers, chanting in Kundalini yoga can strengthen the verbal and visual abilities of the elderly.

3. Increasing Life’s Quality

Yoga, as well as the benefits of Intermittent Fasting, may increase one’s health quality. Research conducted on 135 elderly people who were asked to do yoga for six months proved that this practice can improve overall quality of life.

Mood, fatigue, and even symptoms of illness have improved after these elderly people do yoga. Other studies have also shown that yoga can help improve the effects of chemotherapy in women with breast cancer such as nausea and vomiting.

Meanwhile, other studies have also shown that yoga helps improve sleep quality, provides a sense of spiritual security, improves social functioning, and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with cancer.

4. Providing Healthier Heart

For having a healthier heart, one can do many things. Having the benefits of mindful eating, moving around a bit by doing cardio, or doing calmer sports like Yoga. Research published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology suggests that yoga can help lower your risk of heart disease.

In addition, other studies also found that people who practiced yoga for five years had lower blood pressure and pulse rates compared to those who did not do this exercise.

This is very beneficial because high blood pressure is one of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes. In addition, yoga can reduce levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in our body.

5. Reducing Chronic Pain

Having a health problem that causes chronic pain in certain parts of the body can be very disruptive to activities. However, there are many studies that prove yoga can help reduce chronic pain that has multiple causes.

Quoted from the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal of McMaster University, Canada, Yoga can help relieve chronic back pain that usually severely restricts a person’s movement.