Yoga is an ancient practice that focuses on uniting the mind, body, and spirit through movements connected with breathing. In the western world, we now practice a growing variety of yoga, from intense and rigorous vinyasa and hot yoga, to more gentle and even meditative forms like yin and hatha. Yoga is known to promote an incredible list of benefits, from strengthening ligaments to improved range of motion, to better circulation, breathing, and even digestion. For seniors, especially those suffering from arthritis, yoga is a safe and beneficial form of exercise that can be practiced either at home, or at a growing number of clubs or businesses. If your local yoga studio (and there are probably a few!) doesn’t offer senior-specific classes, enquire about the gentle classes on the schedule to find out what would be appropriate for you.
The benefits of going to class are that you will be under the guidance of a qualified instructor, as well as the added boost of a social element. Some yoga poses can be harmful if done wrong, so if you’re new to yoga, it’s definitely best to do a few classes first to ensure that you’re doing the moves right.
If you’re more experienced and ready to try your practice at home, there is an abundance of senior-specific, and even arthritic-specific yoga videos online. Just search on YouTube, or try these series from Do Yoga With Me. All you need is a yoga mat and a bit of clear floor space (or garden space) to start enjoying the benefits of yoga for seniors. Namaste!